It's a London derby to open the 2022-23 English Premier League season on Friday as Arsenal F.C. travels south to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park Stadium.
Crystal Palace and Arsenal both looked strong in the preseason as the Eagles finished with three wins, a draw and a loss, while the Gunners had four wins and a loss.
Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal Betting Odds
These teams met twice in Premier League action last season. The first match ended in a 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium. Crystal Palace won the second meeting 3-0 at Selhurst Park. Five of the past eight matches between the teams have ended in a draw, while Crystal Palace has won two and Arsenal has won just one.
Arsenal has struggled in recent season openers. The Gunners have lost their opening match in five of the last nine years, including a 2-0 loss to Brentford last year. Fortunately for Arsenal, Crystal Palace has been even worse. The Eagles have only won their opening match in five of the last 22 seasons. They also have 10 losses and seven draws over that span.
Crystal Palace manager and former Arsenal captain, Patrick Vieira, led the Eagles to a 12th place finish in the Premier League last season. The team also reached the semifinals of the FA Cup, leading to Vieira’s nomination for Manager of the Year. Vieira will look to build on that success in year two. Crystal Palace enters this game off back-to-back friendly wins over Queens Park Rangers and Montpellier HSC. Their two losses in exhibition action came at the hands of perennial powerhouses Liverpool and Manchester United.
The Eagles won’t have emerging star Conor Gallagher back in the fold this season as the 22-year-old midfielder has returned to Chelsea after a one-year loan. The young guns this year will be 22-year-old midfielder Cheick Doucoure and 18-year-old striker Malcolm Ebiowei. Both players expected to make solid impacts on the team.
New goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is dealing with a quadriceps injury and is not expected to be in the lineup on Friday. Fellow goalkeeper Jack Butland is also out with a broken hand, so Vicente Guaita is expected to be the last line of defence. Midfielders James McArthur (groin) and Michael Olise (ankle) are also expected to be out of the lineup. A front three of Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha and Odsonne Edouard is expected to get the start.
Arsenal’s fifth place finish last season helped them return to European competition with a spot in the Europa League, but a late season collapse led to them finishing one spot out of a Champions League berth. The Gunners had a strong preseason that included a 4-0 win over rival Chelsea in Orlando and a 6-0 thumping of Seville in the Emirates Cup.
Arsenal targeted Manchester City this summer, poaching forward Gabriel Jesus and midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Jesus addition already paid dividends with a hat trick in the Emirates Cup.
Emile Smith Rowe is expected to be sidelined Friday with a groin strain. Fabio Vieira, Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu are all dealing with minor injuries and not expected to be in the starting XI. New captain Martin Odegaard, Jesus and Zinchenko should lead up front in the starting lineup.
Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal Prediction
Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2