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Much to the relief of football fans around the globe, the Premier League is back. 2022/23 is upon us. As with last season, Arsenal will play the opening game of the new campaign, facing a tough test under the lights at Selhurst Park on Friday evening. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace vs Arsenal…
Whilst nothing is guaranteed in football, it’s fair to suggest this game will almost certainly be a very tricky fixture for Arsenal, and a tough way to start the new season. Club legend and Invincible Patrick Vieira did remarkably well in his first year at Crystal Palace, earning him a nomination for Premier League ‘Manager of the Season’, and with a young and exciting squad, I can only see the Eagles progressing further this season.
That being said, the situation at Arsenal is looking bright, too. The acquisition of 5 players thus far- including some top Premier League stars in Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, as well as a faultless run of preseason results has united the fanbase behind Arteta’s infamous ‘project’, which is due to come to fruition this season, according to Technical Director Edu Gaspar.
Arteta stated in his press conference that three of Tomiyasu, Tierney, Vieira, and Smith Rowe should be available for selection. It is unlikely that any will start, however many would argue Arsenal’s expected lineup for Friday’s game is probably as strong as it could be:
As above, I anticipate Arteta will field the same eleven we saw start in our 6-0 triumph over Sevilla in the Emirates Cup. The team picks itself. Aside from potentially Tomiyasu, if he can gain fitness, and any potential signings we can complete before the window ends, that’s the strongest team we have.
Our opposition are slightly less fortunate regarding injuries. Star man Michael Olise is due to miss out, along with Jack Butland, Sam Johnstone, James Tomkins and James McArthur. Conor Gallagher, who spent last season on loan at the Eagles, will be a big miss – but expect a strong side to be fielded by Patrick Vieira.
Crystal Palace are somewhat of a ‘bogey team’ for Arsenal. Our victory at Selhurst Park towards the end of the 2020/21 season is the only win we have in our last six against the Eagles. (P6 W1 D3 L1). Last season saw us held to a 2-2 draw at home, thanks to a late Lacazette goal, and our away fixture needs no reminding for Arsenal fans – a hefty 3-0 defeat in a game where we were completely dominated.
A victory for Arsenal is essential – the club have never lost two consecutive Premier League games to Crystal Palace, despite our poor record.
This season is huge for the ‘project’, and it is absolutely essential we start strongly – something we failed to do last season, due to a considerable number of difficulties at the club. Arteta seems confident and enthusiastic about the season ahead, as he mentioned in his press conference: “We are really excited, we are really looking forward to the new season, we will try to start it in the best possible way and this is how we have focussed our preparation.”
Following on from such a successful preseason will fill our players with confidence, and a strong set of Arsenal away fans will be key to egging the team on. New signing Gabriel Jesus was bought in for the games like this; tough away days with the whole league watching, in need of a player to take the game by the scruff of the neck and deliver. He will be key if Arsenal are to triumph.
All that being said, I’m going to say that we will win this game. 2-1. I see it being a tight and cagey encounter, but one I think we will come out on top of.
Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli to score. Brazilians running the show at Selhurst Park. You heard it here first.