Crystal Palace will welcome fellow Londoners Arsenal at Selhurst Park in the first match of the brand new Premier League season.
Optimism had started to follow following the arrival of Patrick Vieira as the former Gunners midfield brought in a massive transformation upon his arrival at the South London club last season.
The Eagles had a slow start in terms of getting results but they picked up the pace in the later half of the season as they carried out a controlled assassination on the opponents.
The departure of Conor Gallagher could be a big blow to Vieira who built his fort around the Chelsea loanee last season. Galagher’s effort was visibly evident as the young midfielder’s energy and drive pushed the entire squad.
He was Palace’s second best chance creator last season and it remains to be seen how the manager manages to shake up things. In Cheick Doucoure they have one of the most exciting defensive midfielders which could further unlock the attacking players.
US defender Chris Richards would be fighting for a place in the first team alongside Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi who are likely to be the preferred choice in the Palace backline.
Wilfried Zaha was one of the main sources of goals and the Ivorian would be eager to better his performances this season. He has entered the last year of his current contract and the club could lose the player for free next summer.
For Arsenal, they need to avoid last year’s mishap as they crashed to a lowly defeat against newly promoted Brentford in the first match of the last season.
The Gunners have looked in better condition in the preseason and have had some shrewd buys in the summer transfer window with the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Mikel Arteta’s side has enjoyed a brilliant preseason as new entrant Jesus showed what could be expected from him in this coming season. The former Manchester City forward scored seven goals in five games including a hattrick and he will most likely lead the Gunners forward line which also boasts of Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli.
An almost perfect summer combined with some impressive performances in the preseason has boosted the hopes of the supporters who have been waiting for a superlative campaign.
Defence has been an issue for Arteta as his side failed to compile a single clean sheet in the last 10 games last season and Arteta has worked hard to plug the loopholes in the training sessions.
Preseason doesn’t really get the clear picture but Arsenal will be hoping they start on the right chord which could set the tone for the remainder of the season.
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Date: 6th August 2022
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Stadium: Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Sam Johnstone’s quadriceps injury makes him a doubtful starter while Jack Butland is unavailable for selection. James McArthur and Michae Olise will also miss out and Doucoure could make his Premier League debut against Arsenal.
The Gunners have been dealt a severe blow as attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is set to miss the match due to a groin strain. Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiysu are also treating themselves in the treatment room alongside new signing Fabio Vieira.
Crystal Palace Possible Lineup
Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Edouard, Zaha
Arsenal Possible Lineup
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus
Arsenal do have the players to survive another backlash from Crystal Palace as the visitors are looking to start the season on a positive tune.
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal Fantasy XI No. 1
Ramsdale; Andersen, White, Gabriel; Xhaka, Partey, Doucoure, Schlupp; Jesus, Odegaard, Zaha
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal Fantasy XI No. 2
Ramsdale; Andersen, White, Gabriel, Guehi; Xhaka, Partey, Doucoure; Jesus, Odegaard, Zaha