Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker expects Arsenal to drop points against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal face a tricky tie away to Crystal Palace this weekend, just days before their Champions League first leg against Monaco.
And it is the timing of the two games which causes BT Sport pundit Michael Owen to predict the Gunners will drop points at Selhurst Park in this weekend’s Premier League fixture.
Writing in his weekly BetVictor predictions column, he said: “The Gunners face Monaco in the Champions League at the Emirates on Wednesday and it is possible that they may have one eye on that vital last 16 tie.
“The Eagles have only won three of their last 14 PL games at Selhurst Park but would be happier than the Gunners with a draw at the weekend.”
It was this reasoning which led to him selecting a draw as the tie’s best value betting tip surrounding the fixture.
Arsenal’s first leg against Monaco in the Champions League last 16 is at home, and the Gunners have a chance to kill the game off as has been done to themselves in the past, the AC Milan tie they lost 4-0 at the San Siro in 2012 an example.
While Monaco are weaker than any of the sides they have faced at this stage in recent seasons, they beat the Gunners in the Emirates Cup in August, and Arsene Wenger will know if he is not able to balance his squad effectively in both games against the Lige 1 team and Crystal Palace over the coming days, two wins are not guaranteed.
Arsenal only narrowly beat Palace on opening day, and they will not only be tougher away from home but they have key midfielder Mile Jedinak returning.
If Wenger gets his team selection all wrong and they drop points, it will be exactly the worst type of preparation he could have wanted ahead of their Champions League quest.
Do you agree with Owen’s Palace v Arsenal prediction?