Saturday, 16 August 2014

Team News: Arsenal vs Crystal Palace - Alexis, Debuchy and Chambers set to make competitive debut

Team News: Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Preview

A not so glorious afternoon, but one fit for football nonetheless. Today marks a strange one for me, the first opening fixture I haven’t gone to watch in what seems like an eternity. To compensate however, lots of beer is cooling, a BBQ is on the go and a nice big HD widescreen TV. Now all we need is a button to mute Michael Owen’s monotone, incredibly stupid drivel from proceedings and I’m all set. (I know he wont be commentating today, it's just the thought of him.)

There is nothing quite like the first day of the season for me. The excitement starts as early as Thursday for me when the team news begins to trickle in and you start getting an idea of how things will shape up. Well imagine my surprise when after team news started filtering through we had our first managerial casualty of the Premier League Season without a ball even being kicked.

Tony Pulis has left Crystal Palace for a reason that I guess he knows but it shows how ridiculous this sport can be. A club in dire situations when he took over has been allowed to leave just before the season kicks off. Not complaining from an Arsenal point of view as surely this helps us rather than hinders us but just strange nonetheless.

Onto the team news and the first piece seems promising. Laurent Koscienly is expected to be fit for the tie despite an Achilles knock sustained during the Community Shield last week. Wenger had this to say:

"Koscielny had a knock on his Achilles but he should be available for Saturday."

We also know that Walcott is a long term absentee who should hopefully be nearing a first team return. Wenger confirmed as much when he said:

"Theo is, as I always said, end of August or start of September. That is back into training of course."

Aside from that, the only other absentees are David Ospina and Serge Gnabry according to Arsenal.com.

With that in mind I expect the team to look like this today.

As you can see, three new signings in the starting XI which is very exciting but surely, all eyes will be on Sanchez. What a player he could prove to be. If you read my season preview you would know I expect him to have a really big impact this year, particularly with his goalscoring and as such I would love a nice early goal for him to get into the swing of things.

I expect a positive start and strongly believe we can win this match and start the right way for a change!

Come on The Arsenal!

Prediction: 3-0

GoonerVerse.

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