It’s great to have proper football back now and there seems to be a lot of promise this season. Arsenal have just won a major trophy in May, we’ve made a major signing on and off the pitch and we seem to be raring to go after our win in the Community Shield.
I was expecting this to be an extremely difficult game with Pulis at the helm but he’s just left Palace by mutual consent and now they’ll face us without a proper manager. This usually means two things: They either struggle to stick to a game plan and are easy pickings or they work together and play above their normal level so they impress their new manager. Either way, we can’t take this game lightly because of Pulis’ departure.
I expect us to dominate this game throughout and with the pace and midfield options we have now, we should find it fairly easy to open up Palace regardless of their approach. They will counter us with pace and if Koscielny doesn’t play, they may exploit Monreal and Chambers during set pieces or with crosses.
Debuchy – Chambers – Koscielny/Monreal – Gibbs
Arteta – Ramsey
Sanchez – Wilshere – Cazorla
It’s a fairly strong line-up regardless of certain injury and fitness issues. I expect Wilshere to play in attacking midfield over Rosicky as he was particularly impressive against City and Wenger is probably expecting Jack to build upon that.
Giroud will probably get the nod over Sanogo. He’s had an extra week to get fit now and should be able to perform at a far better level than he did at the Emirates cup. But we could see Sanogo start as he seems to be fairly strong in home games whilst Giroud could be deployed against Besiktas as he’ll hold up play better when we are building up play and will also provide more height from set pieces.
This will be a fairly cagey affair with neither team wanting to lose but I expect our quality to win us this game 2 – 1.