The 2022/23 Premier League actions resume today with Arsenal travelling to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace in a London derby in their opening game.
For the third season in a row, Arsenal will begin their new campaign with a London derby; the Gunners eased to a 3-0 success at Fulham behind closed doors in 2020, but Brentford ran out convincing 2-0 winners over Arteta’s side in their first-ever Premier League fixture last term.
Patrick Vieira’s side thumped the Gunners 3-0 in this fixture only a few months ago, but Mikel Arteta has worked to plug the gaps in his Gunners XI during a productive summer.
Taking four points from a possible six against his former club last season, Patrick Vieira slammed the Emirates turf in frustration when his side gave away two points in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal before witnessing his side outclassing the Gunners in April.
By leading the Eagles to a 12th-placed finish last season and reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, former Invincibles captain Vieira earned a manager of the season nomination, and optimism is high around Selhurst Park under the Frenchman.
While witnessing Conor Gallagher return to Chelsea was a bitter blow, Cheick Doucoure and Malcolm Ebiowei are ready to make their mark in the English capital, and the end of pre-season was largely positive for Vieira’s side.
The Eagles enter this game after back-to-back wins over Queens Park Rangers and Montpellier HSC in friendly battles, and their only defeats of the exhibition period came at the hands of Liverpool and Manchester United.
Kicking off the season at Selhurst Park is just what the doctor ordered for Palace, who went unbeaten in their last six home games last season and remarkably managed to keep clean sheets in each of their last five – no mean feat with Arsenal, Man United and Manchester City all featuring in that list.
Fans will soon be able to get a glimpse of what went down at Arsenal during the 2021-22 season when their All Or Nothing Amazon Prime documentary is released, including that forgettable encounter at Selhurst Park for Mikel Arteta.
While returning to continental competition in the form of the Europa League constituted a successful season for the Gunners, there was a palpable sense of disappointment after their end-of-campaign collapse allowed Tottenham Hotspur to swoop in and nick the fourth and final Champions League spot.
However, if Arsenal’s pre-season is anything to go by, the Gunners will be a force to be reckoned with in the new season, as Chelsea fell victim to a 4-0 defeat to their London rivals in Orlando before a six-goal thumping of Sevilla in the Emirates Cup.
Gabriel Jesus scored a hat-trick on that day and represents one of two big-money acquisitions from Manchester City this summer, with Oleksandr Zinchenko also reuniting with Arteta in North London, but the Gunners boss has urged fans and players alike not to get carried away with pre-season results.