Gunners brace for tough tie

LONDON. — Arsenal must brace themselves for an “intense” battle against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park today when they try to break into the Premier League’s top four, manager Arsene Wenger said. Arsenal, who have 45 points from 25 matches and trail fourth-placed Southampton by a single point, travel to a rejuvenated Palace side who have won five of their last eight games since Alan Pardew took charge.

“It’s always very intense and it is a very dynamic ground,” Wenger told a news conference yesterday.

“Alan Pardew has done extremely well. They have found confidence again and they made positive results and that is what it is about when you are a manager.”

Former Gunners striker Marouane Chamakh is expected to line up for Palace and after struggling during his time at Arsenal and Wenger is delighted to see the Moroccan performing well in south London.

“He (Chamakh) lost confidence and I’m happy that he went to Crystal Palace and has made a good career now,” Wenger said.

“He’s not the target man anymore, he’s more a midfielder or second striker. Because he’s a real team player, that position suits him very well.” — AFP.

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