Crystal Palace vs Arsenal Preview – Team News, Predicted Lineups, Key Players

Arsenal and Crystal Palace will raise the curtain on a new Premier League season on Friday, when the Gunners make the short trip south to Selhurst Park.

Mikel Arteta’s side will be in high spirits after a pre-season campaign in which they won six of seven games, including a 6-0 drubbing of Sevilla.

Arsenal have invested heavily in multiple positions in the summer window and nothing less than a top-four finish will suffice for the London club.

There is a sense of optimism around Arsenal this season, unlike last campaign, when their preparations were ravaged by COVID-19 and they were trounced by newly-promoted Brentford in their season-opener.

Palace, meanwhile, are coming off a hugely successful campaign under former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira. The Eagles soared to a 12th-placed finish and advanced to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in the Frenchman’s first season in charge.

Like their opponents on Friday, Palace impressed in pre-season and enter this fixture on the back of successive wins over QPR and Montpellier.

Palace dominated this fixture last season, romping to a 3-0 win at home and holding Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at the Emirates.

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal team news

Crystal Palace

The Eagles will be without Jack Butland and new signing Sam Johnstone, meaning Vicente Guaita will start in goal. Michael Olise, who was one of the stars for Palace last season, will miss the game due to a foot problem, as will James McArthur, who is rehabbing a groin strain.

James Tomkins remains sidelined due to a calf problem.


Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of multiple first-team players. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney are in a race against time to be fit for the game. Arteta revealed that the players will likely be named in the squad, but none of them is expected to start.

Gabriel Jesus has been in phenomenal form for the Gunners and will lead the line. Oleksandr Zinchenko is also expected to make his Arsenal bow on Friday, potentially starting at left-back in place of Tierney.

William Saliba could suit up for the Gunners in the league for the first time, partnering Gabriel Magalhaes in the centre of the defence, with Ben White slotting in at right-back.

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal predicted starting lineups

Crystal Palace predicted starting lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha

Arsenal predicted starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal key players

Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha

Zaha was Palace’s top scorer last season with 14 goals. The mercurial Ivorian is easily the most talented player in the side and his pace and skill could pose plenty of problems for the Arsenal backline, which is not the quickest.

Arsenal – Gabriel Jesus

The Brazilian has hit the ground running following his move from champions Manchester City. Jesus netted seven times in pre-season, including a hat-trick against Sevilla. Apart from being a goal threat, Jesus is also responsible for leading Arsenal’s press, which overwhelmed Sevilla and Chelsea in pre-season.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

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