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Huge boost: James McArthur back for Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have been given a huge boost ahead of their match with Arsenal as £1.3m-rated midfielder James McArthur is expected to return from injury.

The Scotsman was out for 12 weeks earlier this season after he suffered a hamstring tear, before picking up another injury when returning in February.

He has been a key player for the Eagles since he joined from Wigan in 2014 for £7.9m. The 34-year old has made 242 appearances in a Palace shirt and is the vice-captain at Selhurst Park.

His return will be huge for the dressing room, especially considering Palace are without their star forwards Michael Olise and Wilfried Zaha who picked up injuries of their own whilst on international duty.

McArthur’s leadership qualities will be useful against a strong Arsenal side with Vieira describing him as “valuable” and “a warrior” when being interviewed earlier in the season.

The Eagles will be looking to better the result in the reverse fixtures at the Emirates Stadium where it finished 2-2. McArthur featured in that game but was lucky not to be shown a red card after ‘channelling his inner Vieira’ in a crunch tackle on Bukayo Saka.

Should McArthur start tonight?

No thanks!

No thanks!

Yes please!

Yes please!

His defensive attributes can be pivotal in stopping the Gunners, with the veteran midfielder ranking inside the top 10% in the past year across Europe’s top five league for blocks, clearances and recovering loose balls.

While Palace supporters are full of praise for McArthur’s impact, he is one of those players that go under the radar for those who aren’t followers of the club.

He may not be the most entertaining, but he fights and does the work that perhaps some other players are reluctant to.

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Despite not featuring much this campaign, his impact has shown he is a player who picks up the ball a lot and has tallied 511 touches in the Palace midfield third, which is higher than Cheikhou Kouyaté who has featured a lot in his place.

Whether he will start in tonight’s game remains to be seen, he might only be partly fit, but as soon as Vieira can use him he should.

He could play a key part in making sure Palace finish as high as possible in the Premier League, meaning his manager will be delighted to have him back fit and firing.

IN other news: CPFC plot bid for “super talented” 34-goal gem, just imagine him & Olise…

Article title: Huge boost: James McArthur back for Crystal Palace

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