In a London derby later tonight at Selhurst Park, Arsenal and Crystal Palace will officially kick off the 2022–23 Premier League seasonat Selhurst Park at 8 p.m BST.
After encouraging summers, both teams will enter the first game of the new season in good spirits.
The Gunners, for example, lost just one of their friendlies while scoring a combined 10 goals against Chelsea and Sevilla without receiving a response, thanks in large part to the hot play of £45 million signing Gabriel Jesus.
In order to prevent the same outcome as last year’s all-London kickoff, when they were defeated by newly promoted Brentford following a poor performance, Arsenal will be eager to build on that sense of excitement and expectation.
A Palace club that hopes to advance this season under the guidance of Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira will try to give Mikel Arteta’s team a reality check.
The additions of Cheick Doucouré and Chris Richards have helped the Eagles win three of their previous four friendlies, scoring seven goals in two victories over QPR and Montpellier.
Team information for Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal
James McArthur, James Tomkins, and Michael Olise are all out due to injuries, along with goalkeepers Sam Johnstone and Jack Butland.
Doucoure is ready to make his complete debut.
Emile Smith Rowe for Arsenal is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a groin injury, while full-backs Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu have also been sidelined during preseason; however, Arteta had hoped that they could be able to practice on Thursday.
Similar applies to recent acquisition Fabio Vieira, who has yet to play for his new team because of a foot issue.
Prediction for Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal
Being overly excited about Arsenal’s early-season prospects is typically a bad idea because those predictions almost always wind up backfiring quickly.
The front four of Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and new captain Martin Odegaard appeared absolutely electrifying at times throughout the summer, and it is tough to deny that the Gunners appeared to be quite a force to be reckoned with.
Last weekend’s 6-0 Emirates Cup thrashing of Sevilla was the result of their lethal combination of attractive interplay and relentless high pressing, which increased pressure on Arteta’s team to start the Premier League season in a similar fashion.
Even though playing Palace away under Vieira is not an easy game to start, a valiant road win ought to be in the cards.
Arsenal to win 2-1
History and results of head-to-head competition
Last season, Arsenal struggled to defeat Palace. They were humiliated 3-0 at Selhurst in April, which hurt their chances of qualifying for the Champions League, and were only able to draw 2-2 at the Emirates thanks to a dramatic equalizer from Alexandre Lacazette.