Premier League football: Arsenal v Crystal Palace preview

New season, new ambition for Arsenal, but how will Crystal Palace cope without manager Tony Pulis?

Premier League football: Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Saturday 4.45pm Sky Sports 1 (kick-off 5.30pm)


Arsene Wenger couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his Premier League campaign. Crystal Palace’s careful season planning has shattered in the past 48 hours following manager Tony Pulis left the club on Thursday evening. Last year’s manager of the year reportedly fell out with the club chairman over Palace’s lack of movement in the transfer market.

If Palace’s future looks bleak, things couldn’t appear rosier for their London rivals this late summer’s evening. The FA Cup champions blew away league holders Manchester City in the Community Shield: goals from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud were coupled with several stampeding runs from new signing Alexis Sanchez.

It will be a long campaign, of course, and the Gunners have fallen short int he past thanks to injuries and lack of squad depth before. Thomas Vermaelen is gone and the centre back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny can’t be expected to play all season long.


Add another defender, though, and Arsenal have the right to expect more than just another top four finish.