Arsenal are back, y’all. The Gunners travel to Selhurst Park to kick off the Premier League season against Crystal Palace and our old friend Patrick Vieira. The Gunners have struggled against the Eagles of late, going 1-3-1 over the last 5 matches. Over the last five seasons, only Manchester City and Liverpool have scored more goals against Arsenal than have Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha has been a particular thorn in the Gunners’ side, winning three penalties. Palace’s 4 penalties won against Arsenal over the last five years are the second-most won by any team against one opponent. (H/T @Orbinho for the scoring stats)
Arsenal have had trouble scoring against Palace lately and will be looking for revenge for the 3-0 humbling they received last spring at Selhurst Park. Arsenal played particularly poorly that match, with a 30 minute spell that Mikel Arteta described as well off the necessary quality. Scoring, not just against Crystal Palace, was an area Arsenal needed to improve this summer, and the addition of Gabriel Jesus should do just that. Jesus had a fantastic preseason, notching 7 goals. The Gunners’ attack looked potent in the warmup matches, and they’ll look to carry that momentum into the Premier League season.
The biggest change for Crystal Palace this season is the departure of Conor Gallagher, who has returned to Chelsea after a successful loan spell with Vieira’s side last season. New signing Cheick Doucouré should replace him in the center of the park. The Eagles also added American centerback Chris Richards from Bayern Munich over the summer.
Both clubs come into today’s match with injury concerns. Palace will be without James McArthur, James Tomkins, and Michael Olise among outfield players. Keepers Sam Johnstone and Jack Butland are both out as well. Olise is a big loss in the midfield, Palace will miss his creativity.
Arsenal will definitely be without Emile Smith Rowe, who is nursing a groin injury and expected back in training next week. All three of Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Fabio Vieira trained on Thursday and might be available for the substitutes bench. I highly doubt any of them start.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Ødegaard, Martinelli, Jesus
Crystal Palace - Guaita, Clyne, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell, Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze, Zaha, Edouard, Ayew
WHAT: Arsenal at Crystal Palace
WHERE: Selhurst Park
WHEN: Friday, August 5th 12 pm PT | 3 pm ET | 8 pm BST
US TV: USA and UNIVERSO. Streaming on fuboTV.
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