Premier League – Crystal Palace v Arsenal

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Arsenal ensured there would be no repeat of their disastrous start to last season as Mikel Arteta’s men beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday to open the Premier League’s 30th season.

The Gunners were beaten 2-0 at Brentford on the opening night of last season in what sparked their worst start to a league campaign in 67 years.

But they retained their blistering pre-season form as Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half header and an own goal from the late Marc Guehi made amends for a 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park in April.

The defeat sparked a five-game losing streak in the last 10 games of the season to cost Arsenal a place in the Premier League top four for a sixth straight year.

But the board have remained confident in Arteta and have backed the Spaniard with over £100m to spend in the transfer market.

The arrival of Gabriel Jesus to fill the need for a centre-forward was Arsenal’s star signing of the summer and the Brazilian came close to scoring his debut in style after just four minutes.

Jesus weaved through the center of the Palace defense and when his initial effort was blocked, Martinelli should have done better than put the rebound wide on target.

The visitors were completely dominant in the first quarter, but it took a set piece to break through.

Another debutant, Oleksandr Zinchenko, nodded for a corner in goal and Martinelli’s header had just enough power to beat Vicente Guaita.

Palace had endured a much more problematic pre-season with a number of key players staying home on a tour of Australia due to their coronavirus vaccination status.

The Eagles took half an hour to find their bearings, but will be disappointed not to have at least taken a point once they got up to speed with the game.

Arsenal were guilty of causing their own problems by rousing Palace fans from their sleep as an Aaron Ramsdale clearance was charged and luckily for the England keeper who bounced off one of his own defenders.

Ramsdale made amends before the break with a fine save to prevent leveling Odsonne Edouard’s header before the French striker deflected another effort over the bar.

Palace fired Arteta’s men in the second half but were yet to get a chance when they arrived.

Eberechi Eze was the guiltiest as he obediently fired into Ramsdale’s body with just Arsenal’s number one to beat.

Arsenal had barely threatened to counterattack in the second half, but were lucky enough to give themselves breathing space for the final five minutes.

Bukayo Saka’s cross caught England team-mate Guehi off guard as the Palace centre-back’s header flew into his own net.

beIN SPORTS’ Carrie Brown meets Jan Aage Fjortoft before kick-off! The former Norway international shares fascinating insight into why Mikel Arteta chose Martin Odegaard as his new captain.

Here is Mikel Arteta’s first starting XI of the new Premier League season:

Here’s how the hosts line up for tonight’s clash:

Selhurst Park is ready! Expect a lively atmosphere at Crystal Palace from one of the Premier League’s most passionate home-grown supporters.

Predicted teams:

Here’s a look at how Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta could prepare their teams tonight…

Crystal Palace possible starting XI:

Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Gehi, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Edward, Zaha

Arsenal possible starting XI:

Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus

How do you see the Premier League opener going tonight? Vote now!

Ahead of the new season, new Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard spoke to beIN SPORTS’ Carrie Brown.

The wait is finally over. 75 days have passed since the last round of 2021/22 Premier League fixtures and we start the season with Crystal Palace against Arsenal at Selhurst Park. For live English coverage, tune into beIN SPORTS 1 EN at 9:30 p.m. Mecca for all the prep.