Arsene Wenger and his team were ecstatic at the end of the pre season after they beat Chelsea in the Community Shield match. But the first game of the season was more than a reality check for the team and players as they went down to West Ham at the Emirates. They find themselves in a position where they need confidence going into the second game of the season.
Crystal Palace on the other end beat newly promoted Norwich City 3-1 away from home. They produced a decent performance and Alan Pardew will be relatively happy with the team and effort of his players. However, a game against the Gunners can never be easy and the club will want all its fans to give them the extra push needed to get a result out of this game.
The Match will be played at the Selhurst Park on the 16th of August at 1:30 pm BST (6 pm IST).
For Crystal Palace, there are no new injuries and they will likely name an unchanged squad for this game. Speroni is still un-available for selection due to an injured finger. Yohan Cabaye and McCarthy are all set to make their home debuts while Marouane Chamakh will miss out due to a hamstring problem. The last match saw the club play some exciting football and if they can repeat it, Arsenal will have a tough time.
For Wenger, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck remain unavailable for selection due to injuries. But the rest of the squad is fit and it will be interesting to see if the drubbing at the Emirates a week ago will affect the manager and if he will change his team for the game at the Selhurst Park. They will have to be crisp and better with their passing this time around if they want to get on the points table at-least in this match.
Yohan Cabaye looked extremely delightful with the ball at his feet. He seemed to provide the extra bit of spark regularly during the match and created a headache for the Norwich defenders. He will surely use all his skill and trickery and will try to get through the Arsenal defense which at times looked mediocre in the last game against West Ham. He also scored a goal on his debut and will be an important player for the home side.
The likes of Zaha and Puncheon in the side can also be effective when the Arsenal full back will try and press ahead. But Bellarin who looks set to return to the squad looks strong enough and may provide enough cover up front. For Arsenal, the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will use all their experience and will try to break down the back four of the Crystal Palace.
Santi Cazorla was the only player who came out of the West Ham game with a bit of pride. He looked energetic and created chances for his team mates. Cazorla also linked up well with Giroud all throughout last season and the club will need all their help after the loss in the first round. The defensive midfield of Crystal Palace will have their work cut out with all the quality that the Arsenal squad possesses.
Expected Team Line-ups:
Crystal Palace (4-4-1-1-) : McCarthy (GK); Delaney, Souare, Dann, Ward; Zaha, Puncheon, McArthur, Cabaye; Murray; Mutch.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1) : Cech (GK); Mertesacker, Debuchy, Monreal, Koscielny; Carzorla, Ozil; Ramsey, Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud.
Predicition: Arsenal were not really at their best in the last game and their new signing Petr Cech was not comfortable on his debut. But for Wenger, the club needs to bring back lost confidence and a trip to Selhurst Park will not serve the purpose. They may just shade through the game in the end as we predict Arsenal to win 2 goals to 1.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal