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Crystal Palace Vs Arsenal Friday 5th August, 20:00

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The 22/23 Premier League season kicks off with this London derby from Selhurst Park. Viera’s side are unbeaten against Arsenal so far under his reign having drawn 2-2 away and winning 3-0 at home last season, Arsenal were dominant in both games but not clinical enough in front of goal, whereas Palace took the few chances, they had to get something out of the games. 

The Palace squad should be sharp and match fit having played a whopping 9 friendlies, utilising the entire squad and youth team by mixing the two and splitting them into separate teams meant everyone got a lot of game time. They’ve had some good wins along the way 5-4 against Millwall, 4-2 against Ipswich and 2-3 away at Gillingham. Then two strong wins a 0-3 away at QPR and most recently 4-2 versus Montpellier. Only losing to Liverpool 2-0 and Man Utd 3-1.

Arsenal’s pre-season has been a goal fest with 26 goals scored in only 7 games, 6 of which they’ve won only losing to Brentford 1-2. Big wins came against Ipswich 5-1, Numberg 3-5 away, Everton 2-0 and Orlando away 1-3, then massively impressive victories against Chelsea 4-0 and Seville 6-0. With Jesus scoring 7, Nketiah 6 and Saka 4 in those games, so I can see Arsenal scoring +2.5 goals against a Palace defence with only 1 clean sheet in 9.

Key stats

* Arsenal have gone the last 25 games without drawing (18W, 7L)

* 50% of last 10 H2Hs have been draws

* Arsenal have scored 26 times in pre-season 

* 80% of last 10 H2Hs have seen BTTS

* Palace have scored 22 times in pre-season

I see events playing out in favour of Arsenal 5/6, with Jesus scoring on his PL debut for the Gooners. Palace should give a good account of themselves and get on the score sheet, but their leaky defence will be no match for an exciting Arsenal attack. My prediction is a big win for Arsenal, 1-4. 

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