The Arsenal vs Crystal Palace match will be played this Saturday, August 16 (9:30 AM Pacific, 17:30 BST), at the Emirates stadium. This is the first round of the new season’s Premier League, which we have awaited with a great deal of impatience.
Both teams have changed since the end of the last season. Arsenal lost Bacary Sagna to Manchester City on a free transfer – the Frenchman refused to extend his contract with Arsenal. They also sold former captain Tomas Vermaelen to Barcelona for 15 million euros, and sent Carl Jenkinson on a loan, so they were left without an option in the right back. Also, Arsenal’s reserve goalkeepers left, so they were left with only one goalkeeper, too.
Arsenal bought Colombian Ospina from Nice, to compete with Szczesny for the number one spot, and they clinched a deal with a France international right back, Mathieu Debuchy. They acquired Calum Chambers from Southampton, and the biggest reinforcement this summer was Alexis Sanchez, from Barcelona. Joel Campbell, who starred for Costa Rica at the World Cup, returned from his loan.
On the other hand, Crystal Palace brought in a few players, and also lost a few. Martin Kelly, Brad Hangeland and Fraser Campbell are the most significant reinforcements, and among numerous players, they lost Spanish talent Campana, who didn’t do well in his debut season, so he transferred to Sampdoria, and Cameron Jerome, who returned to Stoke.
But, the biggest problem for Crystal Palace is the fact that Tony Pullis, the best manager in the Premier League last season, who elevated them from the last place to the comfortable middle of the table, left the club! Apparently, there were some disagreements about the transfer policy of the club, so Pullis left, leaving the team without a manager on the opening day of the season!
Malky Mackay, the former Cardiff boss, is the likely replacement for him.
Prediction- Arsenal wins 3-0
Arsenal will be probably left without Mertesacker and Podolski, who are still not fully fit to play, and Walcott and Gnabry, still injured from the last season. Laurent Koscielny is doubtful, but he will probably feature alongside newcomer Calum Chambers in the heart of the defense.
On the other hand, Palace has less problems with the team, with only Jerome Thomas out, and Delaney, Mariappa and Williams doubtful.
Arsenal will be looking for a convincing victory against their opponents on the opening day of the season. Crystal Palace’s managerial problems should also help them, so we really can’t imagine that Arsenal could fail to earn a victory here. Considering all the facts, the prediction is that Arsenal will win this match by 3:0.
The match will be televised on NBC (USA), and Sky Sports 1 (UK).