Premier League Preview: Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace

By
Updated: August 12, 2014
Arsenal

Match Date: 16 August 2014 (local time)

Venue: Emirates Stadium

 

Two of the most talked-about squads in the Premier League will meet to make a strong impression in their first match in the season. These are the league’s near miss champion, Arsenal and the almost relegated club, Crystal Palace. Both clubs made noise last season due to their achievements and are hoping to replicate or better yet deliver a much better performance.

 

The contenders

Arsenal

After a nine-year wait, the Gunners have finally lifted the coveted FA Cup silverware and just recently, they stunned the league champion, Manchester City when they won the Community Shield tournament.

 

Many consider Arsenal’s recent achievement as a prelude to a better performance. Such assumption stems from the fact that they slapped City with three (3) goals and at the same time, kept a clean sheet. Indeed, it is a premonition of something good. But perhaps, more than winning another FA Cup trophy, what many expect from the club is to remain strong until the last leg of the upcoming season. Arsenal cannot afford to subject its supporters into another disappointing round after failing to bag the Premier League title.

 

Arsenal dominated the league during the first half of the season. But its dominance was short-lived as it quickly stumbled into the fourth spot during the second half. The exciting run was immediately marred by a series of unexpected defeats, Theo Walcott’s injury and another disappointing fallout in the Champions League.

 

The Gunners, just like in the previous season, looks promising. It made another surprise signing when the former Barca man, Alexis Sanchez decided to join the squad. Yet the promising squad must produce results. The victory over City generates hope, but only real and competitive matches matter and hopefully, the Gunners pull it off this season.

 

Crystal Palace

The Super Eagles are the ultimate stunner of the league last season. A weak start and a series of unfortunate events forced many to believe that their season is already over even before it has even started.

 

But Palace did the impossible. When Ian Holloway voluntarily left his post, Tony Pulis did a major overhaul of the squad. From top relegation candidates, who would believe that Crystal Palace will be the 11th best squad of the top-flight league?

 

Pulis’ tactical acumen did not only erased the squad’s “yoyo” reputation, but also led to shocking match results. The most notable ones are the draw against Chelsea, the victory against Everton and another stalemate against Liverpool, which, ultimately destroyed the Reds’ title contention and sent Luis Suarez into a pool of tears.

 

Given this aspect at hand, many expect Palace to survive another season, or better yet, penetrate the top 10. It sounds impossible, considering the caliber of players that will be gracing the Premier League. But who knows, Pulis might create another miracle.

 

Prediction, head turners and flops

With the likes of Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud, it is hard to see Arsenal as the match’s minnow. The depth of its form, coupled with the impressive resume of its players project an invincible image. Assumptions of Arsenal’s unstoppable rise are also triggered by Walcott’s awaited return and should Mesut Ozil returned to top form, indeed, it is hard to question the capabilities of the sports betting favorite, Arsenal.

 

Yet, as discussed, Crystal Palace is a squad, which loves surprises. The Gunners should be careful. Their loss might be the kind of surprise that Palace is aiming for.

 

What the odds say

Handing over an Asian handicap of 1.5, Arsenal is the ultimate favorite to win at 1.85 in 12BET.

 

Image Source: International Business Times