Date: August 16, 2014
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
Kick-off time: 17:30 BST
Arsenal will begin their Barclays Premier League season with a home match against Tony Pulis’ Crystal Palace side as they finally look to launch an assault on the Premier League this term. Arsene Wenger has bought some exceptionally good players and now have a group of players at his disposal who can give the rest of the league a good run for their money.
Palace, on the other hand looked good on the defence towards the end of last season and one would expect them to put up extremely disciplined performances with Pulis in charge.
The Gunners started their pre-season with a win over Boreham Wood with hardly any first-team player featuring after most were away on vacation following the world cup.
They tasted a 1-0 defeat against New York Red Bulls in their brief foray into America in pre-season before putting up a show against Benfica in the Emirates Cup. They won the match 5-1 before going down against AS Monaco the following day with Radamel Falcao scoring the only goal of the match from a header.
Arsenal have since won the Community Shield against Manchester City in style as they subjected the sky blues to a 3-0 defeat at the Wembley.
Crystal Palace’s form
Palace defeated Grazer 13-1 in their opening pre-season game before drawing 2-2 against Columbus Crew in their tour of the United States.
They won their next game against the Philadelphia Union at Chester, Pennsylvania before returning to base. Upon their return, Palace have featured in just the one friendly against Brentford which they lost 3-2.
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey
The Welsh midfield dynamo can become the best midfielder in the Premier League if he is able to stay injury free throughout the season and continue his outstanding development from last season.
If his showing in the Community Shield was anything to go by, the Gunners faithful are in for a treat.
Crystal Palace: Jason Puncheon
Puncheon had been the one man who had been able to find the goals quite regularly towards the end of last season after Pulis took over the side. On the occasion, he helped the team stay in the Premier League.
This term though, it will be a different ball game altogether if Puncheon continues to fire from the very outset.
The kind of form that Arsenal showed against last season’s league champions in the Community Shield game was frightening. It must have jolted some of the premier league bosses who harbour ambitions of winning the league this season or even finish in the top 4 for that matter.
I do not see Crystal Palace stopping the Gunners on Saturday, however well-organized they may be. This current Arsenal team are a treat to watch and I expect them to be unforgiving as they look to begin their season in style.
Not surprised then that you can only get odds of 1.28 for their win and although that doesn’t offer mucg value under 2.5 goals to be scored in the game loks worth a bet at 2.1. Both matches between these two last season features less than 2.5 goals.
Back Under 2.5 goals at 2.1 with Paddy Power