Crystal Palace-Arsenal Preview

The Associated Press

Whether it's the Premier League or Europa League, Arsenal should feel good about their chances of getting back to the Champions League.

Whilst the Gunners are on to the semi-finals of Europa, they look to maintain their spot in the top four of the Premier League - and dominance at home - on Easter Sunday against visiting Crystal Palace.

Arsenal (20-6-7) punched their ticket to the final four of the Europa League by beating Napoli 1-0 on Thursday to win on aggregate. The Gunners join Premier League rivals Chelsea, Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals of Europe's second-tier competition.

Scroll to continue with content

Back on the domestic front, Arsenal have outscored their opponents 15-4 during a 6-1-1 run. Their latest league triumph came 1-0 at Watford on Monday thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal in the 10th minute.

As is usually the case when balancing two tournaments at the same time, the lineup Arsenal used Thursday won't be the same Sunday.

"It's very important now for the players to have some rotation because some players are injured, and after the match (Thursday), we need different players with new energy," manager Unai Emery told Arsenal's official website. "Some of the players who played (Thursday) maybe cannot play on Sunday. We want to play a lot of matches, it can be difficult, but we need to prepare well."

One player who won't be on the pitch Sunday, and perhaps ever again for the Gunners, is midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The veteran, who plans to join Juventus this summer, suffered a hamstring injury against Napoli.

"He was in a very good moment, he was playing with a big behaviour and commitment to do something important for us," Emery said. "His injury can give us some matches without him. I don't know if we'll see him again before the end of the season."

Regardless of whom will be on the pitch Sunday, Arsenal should feel good about things since they'll be within the friendly confines of the Emirates. Since losing their home opener to Manchester City, the Gunners are 14-2-0 and have won 10 straight league games at home.

They've conceded just one goal in their last four Premier League home contests. Arsenal are also 6-1-0 at home against Crystal Palace, whose last road win over the Gunners came in October 1994.

Palace (11-6-17), though, managed a 2-2 draw versus Arsenal at Selhurst Park on Oct. 28. Luka Milivojevic converted a penalty in first-half stoppage time and netted the equaliser in the same fashion on 83 minutes for the Eagles.

With 39 points, Crystal Palace are nearing that important 40-point mark that's traditionally enough to secure safety from the drop. However, they are 3-0-4 in the league since Feb. 27.

Milivojevic's goal in the 81st minute was all the Eagles could muster during a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City last weekend.

"It is so difficult getting that balance right, making sure you don't get totally torn apart tactically," manager Roy Hodgson told Crystal Palace's official website. "At the same time, putting (an opponent like Manchester City or Arsenal) under enough pressure to concern them in some way."

What to Read Next