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It’s not hard to see why the television cameras will be heading to Selhurst Park tonight for their first live presentation of the season. Twelve months ago Sky also launched with it. Arsenal away from their London neighbors and they were pretty awful in a 2-0 loss at Brentford.
Three consecutive defeats at the start of the season left them playing catch-up and a 3-0 reversal at Palace in April – managed by legendary former Gunners midfielder Patrick Vieira – sparked a late-season slump that led to Arsenal qualified for the Champions League.
The big summer signings of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City have given Mikel Arteta’s squad an invigorating, fresh look even if manager-better-in-chief Piers Morgan predicts a tougher Spaniard. There are critics.
Big match: Crystal Palace v Arsenal, today, 8pm, Sky Sports
Jesus has scored seven pre-season goals – including a hat-trick in last Saturday’s 6-0 victory over Sevilla – just one less than he had in his entire Premier League last term. With Martin Odegaard as the new captain and rising stars Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Eddy Nketiah set to return to the center stage, the wave of optimism surrounding Arsenal is understandable.
But pre-season will be forgotten once tonight’s game gets underway and the Gunners can expect some favors from Vieira, whose touchline emotions divided loyalties during last season’s 2-2 draw at the Emirates. No indication was given.
Palace’s summer business has been more sensible than spectacular – defensive midfielder Cheick Ducour from Lens and defender Chris Richards from Bayern Munich.
Conor Gallagher will be missed on his return to Chelsea but they have Iberichi Aze – who missed most of last season with an Achilles injury – and talisman Wilfried Zaha pulling the strings as they beat Montpellier. wrapped up the pre-season as a 4-2 win against .
Vieira certainly has plenty of credit in the bank among Palace fans. Last term’s 12th-place finish was equal to that of predecessor Roy Hudson, but the way it was achieved was chalk and cheese.
Fulham v Liverpool, Saturday, 12.30pm, BT Sport
Adult tickets in the home sections for this game were priced at £90 and £100. Welcome back to the Premier League, Fulham fans. They will be hoping it’s third time lucky and Marco Silva’s side have not boasted before the drop after impressively winning the Championship last season.
All eyes will be on whether Aleksandar Mitrovic can finally succeed in the top flight and how much they miss teenager Fabio Carvalho, who starts on the bench for Liverpool given the attacking wealth at Jurgen Klopp’s disposal. is the one
Match Stat: Liverpool’s last league defeat came at Leicester on December 28.
Tottenham v Southampton, Saturday, 3pm
The Saints didn’t have much to cheer about in the second half of last season but they won 3-2 at Spurs in February, Che Adams getting their winner after the hosts had twice led.
At the time, Antonio Conte’s side tended to alternate between victories and defeats but eight wins from their final 11 games of the season saw them pip bitter rivals Arsenal for a Champions League place.
They are without Oliver Skipp for the start of the season after suffering a heel injury in training.
Match Stats: Both teams have scored in 14 of the last 15 league and cup meetings.
Newcastle v Nottingham Forest, Saturday, 3pm
Forest’s first Premier League game for 23 years is a baptism of fire and how quickly boss Steve Cooper can get a squad that includes 12 summer signings. He had little choice, including five loan players in the play-off final against Huddersfield.
Despite Newcastle’s big-money signings, local youngster Elliott Anderson’s form in pre-season has put him in the running for his first Premier League start as they try to prize James Maddison away from Leicester.
Match Stats: Forest have conceded just 15 goals in 20 away games under Cooper.
Leeds v Wolves, Saturday, 3pm
Only relegation teams scored fewer goals than Wolves last season, so leaving Raul Jimenez out for eight weeks with injury and Adam Trevor nursing a hamstring problem, his big summer, is not ideal. The buyer was defender Nathan Collins.
Jesse Marsh’s Leeds completed their pre-season with a 6-2 win over Cagliari in which Rodrigo scored a hat-trick but, more importantly, Patrick Bamford netted twice as they 2021-22 -Wants to keep 2021 behind due to injury.
Match Stat: Wolves got two points from their last seven games last term.
Bournemouth v Aston Villa, Saturday, 3pm
Scott Parker’s joy at securing automatic promotion seems to have been short-lived due to Bournemouth’s lack of transfer activity this summer. Unsurprisingly, the bookies make them odds-on favorites for the drop.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard knows a thing or two about being captain and his decision to hand John McGann the armband at the expense of Tyrone Mings cannot be taken lightly. The summer arrival of Diego Carlos in defense should make them a tough nut to crack.
Match Stat: Bournemouth have beaten Villa 2-1 in their last three meetings.
Everton v Chelsea, Saturday, 5.30pm, Sky Sports
Dominic Calvert is hoping Lyon’s injury-free campaign won’t last long after the England striker is set to miss the first six weeks of the season after picking up a knock in training, which could be a tough start for those under pressure. It is a bigger blow. Boss Frank Lampard, especially after Richarlison’s exit from Tottenham in the summer.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has warned that Chelsea are undercooked ahead of the new season and that Goodison Park is a ground at which the Blues have a surprisingly poor record.
Match Stat: Four home wins in a row for Everton, 7-1 on aggregate over Chelsea.
Leicester v Brentford, Sunday, 2pm
There will be plenty of people predicting a case of Brentford’s second-season syndrome, notably Christian Eriksen’s move to Manchester United, leaving manager Thomas Frank to admit: ‘He is our brought so much quality to us – we can’t replace it. .’
It feels like Leicester are starting the season in a state of flux, with manager Brendan Rodgers having to deal with a new financial reality. Inspiring goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel feels like a big loss.
Match Stat: The Foxes have not signed a single new first-team player this summer.
Man United v Brighton, Sunday, 2pm, Sky Sports
Realizing that United were not a happy club, manager Erik ten Hague admonished Cristiano Ronaldo to leave a pre-season game after being substituted, with former coach Chris Armas claiming that a succession of leaks had caused unrest in the dressing room. And goalkeeper Dan Henderson grumbles about broken promises, wasting a year of his career.
Remember that Graham Potter’s side beat United 4-0 in May.
Match stat: Brighton’s ninth-place finish last season was their highest top-flight finish.
West Ham v Man City, Sunday, 4.30pm, Sky Sports
The Hammers are among the big spenders of the summer, spending £85m, with £35.5m Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca likely to shoulder the goalscoring burden over Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen.
City had to come back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at West Ham in May, again evident in last week’s Community Shield defeat by Liverpool.
Match Status: Man City lost 1-0 to Tottenham in their opening match last season.
MORE: Metro’s Premier League hot lease: Gabriel Jesus top scorer? Spurs to challenge? Will Erling Holland flop?
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