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Wenger - Palace is an intense challenge

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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are prepared for a “passionate afternoon” at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Crystal Palace have been in good form under new manager Alan Pardew and will provide a big challenge for the Gunners.

However, Wenger is confident his side can continue their good form in south London, having not lost in 11 visits to Selhurst Park.

"It’s a bit like Highbury as an old-fashioned stadium with a soul and it has a crowd that is always behind their team"

Arsene Wenger

“It’s always very intense and it is a very dynamic ground,” the manager said. “It’s a bit like Highbury as an old-fashioned stadium with a soul and it has a crowd that is always behind their team. We expect a passionate afternoon.

“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 Gunner Marouane Chamakh is expected to start for Crystal Palace on Saturday, and Wenger is pleased to see him performing so well for the Eagles.

“He came to Arsenal as a striker and in the first six months he did very well,” he said. "After Robin van Persie came back from injury and he played as more of a sub, he lost confidence. I’m happy that he went to Crystal Palace and has made a good career now.

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

“I always loved him because of his team attitude. He was a hardworking type of player. In the end he didn’t play and you have to give the players a chance to go somewhere and play."

Marouane Chamakh

 

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