With the new Premier League campaign on the horizon, the fans of both Arsenal and Crystal Palace will want to get off to a good start. Last season Arsenal started off very well but the consistency just wasn’t there and they ended up finishing in 4th once again. Crystal Palace looked like they were heading straight back down to the second division, but Tony Pulis was appointed in the second half of the season after the sacking of Ian Hollaway and he steered The Eagles to an astonishing 11th place to secure the top flight football for another season. The two sides will meet this Saturday at the Emirates Stadium. Last season when these two met the first time it ended 2-0 for Arsenal with Arteta slotting home a penalty and Giroud scoring. When the sides met at the Emirates the score was the side as the first, Arsenal triumphed to a 2-0 win with Oxlade-Chamberlain getting a brace. The Eagles haven’t beaten Arsenal since the 1994/1995 season, so history is on The Gunners side.
Both sides have many key players that will be influential to how each team plays, a few key players for Crystal Palace are Julian Speroni, Mile Jedinak, Marouane Chamakh and Fraizer Campbell. Speroni, 4 time player of the year for The Eagle will be key because he is the shot stopper and he was a key player last season, so of course he will be again this term. Captain, Mile Jedinak is the heart of the midfield, he dictates the play of the game and he will have to be very disciplined against a very skillful Arsenal side. Chamakh and Campbell will be key players because they are the strikers, both will need to hit good form this season to see Palace stay in the Premier League and establish themselves into the top flight. Key players for Arsenal will be Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Koscielny will be a key player because he is the heart of the defense, he will need arrange the Arsenal defense and make sure everything is organized at the back. Aaron Rasmey was in the form of his life last season, then picked up a nasty injury which kept him and the sidelines for a while and he has come back strong. He will need to repeat last seasons form if Arsenal will want to win matches. Mesut Ozil, now going into his second season in the Premier League, will have to do a lot better than he did in his first. Many say he was getting used to the league and whatnot, but now he really has to show himself like he did on Real Madrid. His creativity and movement his second to non, and is without a doubt one of the best footballers in the world. Chilean international, Alexis Sanchez who just joined Arsenal from Barcelona, will be the most influential player on the team. He has endless energy on the pitch and he can make something happen out of nothing. He’s proved what he can do from his time at Barcelona and will surely flourish in the Premier League.
Match ups on the pitch are always important, here are a few of the battles we may see on the pitch this Saturday. Hangeland v Giroud, Jedinak v Wilshere, Campbell v Koscielny, Sanchez v Mariappa and Puncheon v Gibbs. If these players clash then we are bound to see some good head to head battles.
Arsenal: (4-2-3-1) Szczesny; Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Ramsey, Cazorla, Sanchez; Giroud.
Crystal Palace: (4-4-2) Speroni; Mariappa, Hangeland, Delaney, Ward; Puncheon, Jedinak, Ledley, Gayle; Campbell, Chamakh.
Taking in the fact that Arsenal have not lost to The Eagles in 10 years, plus they have home advantage and some great signings, you can’t deny them as favourites. Prediction: Arsenal 4-0 Crystal Palace.
Do you think that Arsenal will be such comfortable winners, or will the match in fact be a lot closer than first thought? Can Crystal Palace possibly cause a massive upset and win at The Emirates? Let us know what you think in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .