Crystal Palace meets Arsenal in the opening game of the English Premier League this Friday night. Patrick Viera is going against his former team, and the place which launched him to immortality as the leader of one of the best ever teams in Europe. However, there won’t be any emotions at Selhurst, and both parties will look to beat each other. Just to remind you that Palace and Arsenal are local rivals, fierce ones we may add. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for another fantastic and great season of English football.
Crystal Palace (+295) decided to start the preseason early and to play a lot of games. The Eagles are practically in the competitive rhythm as they had nine friendlies, arguably the most of any other EPL team. Viera did combine and mix the lineups, but he also wanted to create chemistry and to have his team enter the campaign with full speed.
The Frenchman is aware that the first part of the year would end sooner than usual due to the World Cup, and he has a certain strategy based on that. Palace’s preseason finish was very strong, winning three games and having one draw.
Zaha and the boys upfront are in good shape, because Crustal Palace scored at least two goals in each of their wins. The especially impressive ones were against QPR, 3-0, and Montpellier, 4-2.
Arsenal (-110) is even more impressive. The Gunners cast a shadow on all other EPL teams with their displays, the most recent a 6-0 win over Sevilla at the Emirates Cup. Previously, they did superbly too, trashing several teams, for example, Chelsea, 4-0, on the US tour.
Gabriel Jesus’ transfer is the best deal they could do. The Brazilian’s appearance on the field opened a lot of options for Arteta, and so far, he has been the crucial reason why Arsenal plays good football. The way he influences the rest of the lineup is simply fantastic.
Arsenal had five friendly games during the preseason, and won all of them, scoring 20 goals. That pretty sums up everything we’ve said so far.
There aren’t any notable absences in Crystal Palace before this event.
On the other side, Arsenal has a few problems. To be exact four. Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smight Rowe, and Fabio Vieira are all doubtful for the start of the year. It is more likely that we don’t see them on Friday night.
Head to Head Games
Palace was better last season when looking at the direct meetings. They took one point at the Etihad, 2-2, and after that, posted a very confident win at home, 3-0.
The Gunners are superb, and even though they have injury troubles, we are going to pick their victory here, because we believe that Arteta has solid depth in all positions. It won’t be too hard to cover up these missing players. Now, regarding the odds, Arsenal’s victory is set at -110, and this pick most definitely has a value. How to bet on anything other than their triumph after seeing them play during the preseason period?
Pick: Arsenal wins -110
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.