After 75 days of excitement and anticipation, the English Premier League finally kicks off with a Friday night capital clash at Crystal Palace.Information Guide Nigeria
Arsenal will be hoping that their preseason momentum will help spring a different outcome to kick off their 38-game season in the ideal way after losing 3-0 to Palace back in April, but surely it’ll be a tough test given that the Eagles have only lost one of their last eight meetings.
Youth has been added to an ageing team by Vieira, who spent £17.5 million on Mali midfielder Cheick Doucoure [above], who is trying to fill a big Connor Gallagher-shaped hole. The remaining players they brought in, including American defender Chris Richards from Bayern Munich, teenager Malcolm Ebiowei from cash-strapped Derby County, and former England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone who was picked up for nothing, appear to be about adding depth to the team.
Arteta on Palace: “They showed last season how tough they are, how difficult they are to beat and how consistent they were at home as well, especially against the big teams when they got some great results.
“They had that result against us and hopefully, we learnt a lot of lessons that day, especially the 30 minutes we had where we were nowhere near the standards that we needed and we paid the price for it.”JAMB Result
Vieira on Arsenal: “They had really good games during the pre-season. I think they’re in a better place than last year. The new players they’ve brought in, they are much stronger. They have the squad to challenge and be closer to the title.
“We know that it is going to be challenging but I believe that we have the tools to make it difficult for them, to make it challenging for them. Last year at home with the support we had we had some really good matches, and it will be important to keep it that way.”
Facts and stats
Following their win in April, the Eagles are looking to win consecutive league games against us for the first time in their history.
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Palace ended the last campaign unbeaten in six home league games (W3 D3), keeping a clean sheet in each of the last five. They last had a longer unbeaten home run in the top-flight between March – August 1992, while they’ve never kept six consecutive home clean sheets in the top division.
None of Arsenal last 17 Premier League games has ended in a draw (W11 L6) – only once have they had a longer run (25 between January and October 2018).
This is the third consecutive season Arsenal will be starting their Premier League campaign with a London derby, winning 3-0 at Fulham in 2020/21, before losing 2-0 at Brentford.
Palace have won their opening top-flight league match in only five of their previous 22 seasons, although they have won two of their last four.
This will be the fifth time in top-flight history the season has kicked off on a Friday night, with the home side winning on each of the previous four occasions, including our 4-3 win against Leicester City in 2017/18.
Gabriel Jesus has been involved in seven goals in his last seven league games (6 goals, 1 assist). He could extend Arsenal’s record of having the most Brazilian goalscorers in Premier League history, which currently stands at 11 players.
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