Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has praised Patrick Vieira’s “consistent” Crystal Palace and the Spanish tactician is expecting a tough battle in Friday’s Premier League opener at Selhurst Park (Palace 17/5, Draw 11/4, Arsenal 10/11 – Match Betting).
The 2022/23 Premier League campaign kicks off with a clash between the Eagles and the Gunners in South London and there is cause for optimism for both sides heading into Friday’s 20:00 KO.
Arsenal have splashed the cash to bring in Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira this summer, while Matt Turner and Marquinhos have also been added to the ranks to increase the manager’s options.
The Gunners have won all five of their pre-season games, scoring 20 goals and conceding just four, and they can be backed at 6/4 to finish in the top four and secure a return to the Champions League.
Palace (9/4 Top Half Finish) may have lost Conor Gallagher, who has gone back to parent club Chelsea following his impressive season-long loan at Selhurst Park, but Cheick Doucoure, Chris Richards, Sam Johnstone and Malcolm Ebiowei have been signed.
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The Eagles have had no less than nine pre-season fixtures, winning five, drawing two and losing two, and Vieira was unbeaten in his two clashes against Arsenal last season – drawing 2-2 at the Emirates before triumphing 3-0 on home soil.
It is those two Premier League meetings in the 2021/22 campaign that really stick out for Arteta and he knows his side will face a tough battle to come away with all three points on Friday.
He said at his press conference: “They showed last season how difficult they are to beat and how consistent they are at home especially against the big teams, they [had] some great results.”
The Palace quartet of Michael Olise, James McArthur, Johnstone and Jack Butland are all sidelined for the opener due to their respective injuries, while James Tomkins has a muscle issue and is a major doubt.
Arsenal are set to be without Emile Smith Rowe because of a groin problem but Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Vieira are all in contention to feature after recovering from their respective knocks.
Brazil international Jesus, who is 5/4 to score anytime, and Zinchenko are both in line to make their debuts following their summer moves from Manchester City.
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