Crystal Palace host Arsenal to open the 2022/23 Premier League season at Selhurst Park, and Mikel Arteta will be hoping for a decent start this term.
The new Premier League season is upon us, and the 2022/23 campaign will open with a London derby. The only familiarity would be the presence of Arsenal, who this time travel to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace.
Patrick Vieira enters his second campaign as the Crystal Palace boss after a relatively successful first season in London. Under the Frenchman, the Eagles finished 12th in the Premier League while reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, where they endured defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
Vieira will be keen to see his side progress further than the previous campaign, and the club seem open to supporting the Frenchman’s ideas. The Crystal Palace boss will be hoping for his team to keep momentum over their opponent, Arsenal and build on recent results against the Gunners.
The last time the two sides met, Crystal Palace thoroughly secured a 3-0 victory over Arsenal. That result ensured the Eagles took four points from a possible six against the north Londoners, although they endured a mixed bag form in pre-season, losing their clashes against Big Six opponents.
Mikel Arteta will undoubtedly hope the fortunes from last season’s opening night change considerably when Arsenal open the season against another London side. The Gunners suffered a morale-sapping defeat to Brentford away from home, although the team was riddled with COVID-19 and injury issues for the clash.
The Arsenal manager has done well in the transfer window to strengthen the squad and has a group of players capable enough to compete with the Premier League’s big boys. Arsenal’s recent form against Crystal Palace may worry a few fans, but their resounding success during the pre-season will have added a sense of optimism among those who support the club.
Arteta may not have envisaged his opening fixture away to Selhurst Park under the lights, but he has his side ready for the challenge. Despite their impressive form in the close season, the Arsenal manager will undoubtedly be under tremendous pressure to get his team to a bright start, especially after another summer where the Gunners spent significantly on recruits.
Team News & Tactics
Patrick Vieira said Arsenal will be “completely different” on their return to Selhurst Park after losing 3-0 to Crystal Palace in 2021/22.
? “We can be even more competitive than we were last year. The game tomorrow will be important for us to start as well as we can." #CPFC
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 4, 2022
Patrick Vieira enters the new campaign with plenty of injury problems with his squad. As many as four players are unavailable due to fitness issues; the Crystal Palace manager openly confirmed that James McArthur, James Tomkins and Michael Olise are all out of the Arsenal clash.
Jack Butland will also potentially be absent, although Vicente Guaita was always pencilled in to start the season as Crystal Palace’s first-choice goalkeeper. Replacing Olise could be tricky for Vieira, who could call in Jordan Ayew to take the slot on the right wing.
Meanwhile, Conor Gallagher’s return to Chelsea will give Eberechi Eze a prominent place in the team. The 24-year-old will likely take the England international’s place on the right side of the midfield three, with summer arrival Cheick Doucoure playing the anchor role.
Jeffrey Schlupp is the likeliest choice on the left side of the Crystal Palace midfield. To finish the attacking lineup, Wilfried Zaha is the preferred player to take the left-sided wide role, with Jean-Philippe Mateta leading the line for Crystal Palace against Arsenal.
We suspect Vieira would be inclined to keep using Nathaniel Clyne at right-back despite the availability of Joel Ward. A possible swap could still happen in the position, although the other three personnel at the backline will remain the same. Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi will start at the heart of the Crystal Palace defence, with Tyrick Mitchell at left-back.
Predicted Starting Lineup (4-3-3) – Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Eze, Doucoure, Schlupp; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha
Mikel Arteta will be relieved to have some of his semi-fit players back in contention. The Arsenal manager suggested three of the four injured players are set to train this week and will be hoping they make the matchday squad, adding to the quality of depth.
The boss issued a fitness update on four players ahead of #CRYARS ?
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 4, 2022
Arsenal still have plenty of unwanted players on their books, which leaves Arteta with a large squad. It is highly doubtful that Arteta will involve those players for the Crystal Palace clash, although he could include a few on the bench, which could now have nine players.
From the injured players, Takehiro Tomiyasu has had persistent calf issues since January, while Kieran Tierney limped off during Arsenal’s pre-season game against Nurnberg. The duo, alongside Emile Smith Rowe, are expected to train again, while Fabio Viera continues to struggle on the sidelines.
Arteta played the same starting eleven in Arsenal’s final two friendlies against Chelsea and Sevilla. Those are indications the team pretty much picks itself for the Crystal Palace clash. William Saliba, Oleksandr Zincheko and Gabriel Jesus will make their competitive debuts for Arsenal on Friday night.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus
- Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last six Premier League home games and kept clean sheets in each of the last five outings.
- Crystal Palace have lost just one of their last eight Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W2 D5). Following a 3-0 win in April, the Eagles are looking to win consecutive league games against the Gunners for the first time in their history.
- Crystal Palace have won their opening top-flight league match in only five of their previous 22 seasons (D7 L10), although they have won two of their last four (D1 L1), beating Fulham in 2018/19 and Southampton in 2020/21.
- Gabriel Jesus has scored in two of his last three Premier League visits to Selhurst Park.
- Three of Arsenal’s last four goals against Crystal Palace in the Premier League have been netted in the 90th minute or later.
Player to Watch
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 3, 2022
During his pre-match press conference, Mikel Arteta suggested that Gabriel Jesus will have a different role at Arsenal from the one he played at Manchester City. The Arsenal manager has deployed the Brazilian in the No.9 role, and the Brazilian striker has done exceedingly well, scoring seven goals in pre-season.
Jesus certainly provides something Arsenal missed last season with Alexandre Lacazette. The Brazilian international can press, score goals and create opportunities for teammates. After the close season form, he is already tipped to be one of the signings of the summer and will be out to prove a point against Crystal Palace.
Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal
Arsenal may have suffered a terrible result against Crystal Palace a few months ago, but Mikel Arteta has a different setup with some new players on his hands. This Gunners looked sharp in pre-season, and the manager will be aiming to keep the momentum going into the opening weekend.
Crystal Palace have the players to hurt a big team but may be slightly behind in sharpness and readiness compared to Arsenal. We expect a robust display from Patrick Vieira’s side at home on Friday night, but Arsenal are well ahead of the Eagles and could secure a resounding victory to open their season.