The Premier League kicks off with a North vs South London derby on Friday night this week. Mikel Arteta and his ever-improving Arsenal side will take on Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace team who surprised many last season. Including yours truly.
Both sides have had reasonable pre-seasons, but Arsenal have had much the better run. They have scored bucket loads of goals, and only failed to win on one occasion. The signing of Gabriel Jesus seems transformative to the Gunners’ attack.
Palace are no slouches either. They had a bit of a mixed bag of results early in pre-season during their tour of Australia, but have come home with a wet sail. They had a huge win in their first game at Selhurst Park since the end of last season just a few days ago against Ligue 1 outfit Montpellier.
That should be enough to get you hyped for the EPL’s return, so let’s get down to business with our starting XI prediction for Arsenal.
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal FYIs
When is it? Friday, August 5, 2022, 8 PM UK Time.
Where is it? Selhurst Park, London.
Who’s in form? Crystal Palace (LWDWW) Arsenal (WWWLW)
What are the odds? Crystal Palace (+340) Arsenal (-130) Draw (+275)
Arsenal Team News is here
Starting XI Prediction
There are so many fresh faces through the door, and only pre-season lineups to go by. Given that, you’ll have to forgive me if my first starting xi for the season is not 100% spot on.
One position I feel is a lock is goalkeeper. Aaron Ramsdale should start between the posts. He has everything to play for. A strong first half of the season could see him become the England number 1 when the World Cup comes around this winter.
In defense, I think that Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko will play at right and left back, respectively. I expect Zinchenko to move further up the pitch when all of Arsenal’s defensive options return from injury. For now, it’s a familiar post at left back in the Premier League for the Ukrainian.
William Saliba will get his long awaited chance to impress in a Premier League fixture alongside Gabriel in the center back positions.
Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are likely in the defensive midfield positions, with the outrageously talented Martin Odegaard playing just ahead of them.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli start in the wide attacking roles for me, with Gabriel Jesus starting as the number nine. There is something about that attacking line up that excites me!
This fixture should be a tremendous way to kick off the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. Arsenal has looked very exciting in pre-season, and Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace side should build on an impressive 2021/22 campaign.
I just can’t look past the Gunners for this one, though. I am going with an Arsenal victory 3-1.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He also co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.Follow paulmbanks