Crystal Palace-Arsenal Preview

Mikel Arteta is still waiting for news on the future of Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil.

Ozil has not featured since March, despite having enjoyed a run in the side following Arteta's appointment in December 2019, and he was left out of Arsenal's squads for the Premier League and Europa League.

DC United and Fenerbahce have been linked with a move for Ozil, but Arteta had no update to share.

"My understanding is that nothing has changed from the last press conference," he said. "(Technical director) Edu and the club are having some conversations about the near future and the long-term future and when we know something, we will announce it.

"It's always difficult to handle this situation when you are left out of the squad. It's been difficult for everybody to have players who weren't in the squad, because you need them motivated, training well and being part of what we are trying to do and they don't feel like they can contribute to that. It's always tricky. We have tried to manage that in the best possible way."

After a dismal run without a victory, Arsenal have won their last four games in all competitions and face Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Palace lost to Wolves in the FA Cup last time out - Mamadou Sakho made a rare start for the Eagles, but had to go off at half-time due to an injury.

Asked if Sakho was set to leave in January, Roy Hodgson said: "Well I'm quite happy to keep all players.

"But there are players in a squad of 25 men that sometimes have been unhappy that they're not getting enough game time, and they're the type of players, especially if their contract is running out, might be looking elsewhere."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arsenal - Kieran Tierney

Tierney scored a stunning opener in Arsenal's 4-0 rout of West Brom, and also provided an assist. Since the start of December, the full-back has created 15 chances, more than any other defender.

Crystal Palace - Luka Milivojevic

Palace midfielder Milivojevic has had to apologise after he breached coronavirus regulations over Christmas. The Serbian has scored five goals in six Premier League appearances against Arsenal, with four of those coming from the penalty spot.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Arsenal's Bukayo Saka has been involved in a goal in each of his last three Premier League appearances, scoring twice and assisting another. The last teenager to be involved in a goal in four straight Premier League games was Cesc Fabregas (also with Arsenal in April 2007), while Saka could be the youngest to do so (19y 131d) since Wayne Rooney in March 2004 (18y 148d).

- Alexandre Lacazette has scored seven Premier League goals this season, more than twice as many as any other Arsenal player. The Frenchman is averaging a league goal every 124 minutes this season, and has a shot conversion rate of 30.4 per cent, his best return in a single campaign since joining the Gunners.

- In all competitions, Palace have registered just five wins in 47 previous matches against Arsenal (D14 L28), though they are unbeaten in their last two at the Emirates (W1 D1).

- Arsenal have earned more points in Premier League London derbies this season than any of the other five sides from the capital (nine).

- In their 2-0 victory against Sheffield United last time out, Crystal Palace kept their first clean sheet of the season since their opening day victory against Southampton. The Eagles last recorded back-to-back Premier League shutouts between February-June 2020 (four).