Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Prediction
Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening. Here’s a preview with team news.
Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.
The pre-match talk has been dominated by the news that Tony Pulis has left Palace on the eve of the game after clashing with chairman Steve Parish over transfers.
This has to be seen as a major boost for us as Pulis did a sensational job at Selhurst Park last season, taking them from the foot of the table in November to an 11th place finish and deservedly won the Premier League Manager of the Season.
Obviously we should have been confident of picking up the three points regardless, but without Pulis in charge, the odds of the visitors pulling off an upset are far greater now.
As for Arsenal, we head into the new season in good spirits after ending our much talked about trophy drought last season by lifting the FA Cup at Wembley back in May with victory over Hull City.
We followed this up by bringing in four excellent new signings, including Chilean super star Alexis Sanchez, and we beat Manchester City 3-0 in the Community Shield last Sunday, so there is plenty of optimism around the Emirates right now.
A good start to the season is vital if we want to have a real go at the title and we have an excellent opportunity to get our first three points on the board ahead of a crucial Champions League play-off first leg against Besiktas on Tuesday.
Arsene Wenger will be without his German trio of Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski as they only returned to training this week following their World Cup exploits.
Laurent Koscielny is fit to start after overcoming an Achilles knock that he picked up last weekend, and he’ll be joined by new signing Calum Chambers in the middle of defence.
David Ospina has a slight thigh injury so Wojciech Szczesny will start in goal while Mathieu Debuchy is in line to make his competitive debut following his move from Newcastle.
Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry and Ryo Miyaichi remains on the sidelines, while Abou Diaby isn’t considered match fit yet.
Alexis Sanchez should make his debut and is likely to join Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla in attack, with Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo also pushing for starts following some impressive displays in pre-season.
Palace will have to make do without Johnathan Williams while Adrian Mariappa is also a doubt with a rib injury, but Brede Hangeland should make his debut in defence.
Alexis Sanchez: All eyes will be on the Chilean as he makes his competitive debut. I think we’ll see him start on the right side, and his pace and power will be a major weapon for us this season.
Arsenal 3-0 Crystal Palace: Despite not having our Germans to call upon, we should have way too much for a managerless Palace outfit to cope with.
What team would you like to see start and what’s your predicted score? Share your views below.
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