Arsenal gunning to extend impressive record over hosts Palace
Arsene Wenger saw his Arsenal side make the worst possible start to the new Premier League campaign, suffering a shock opening day defeat to West Ham United, but will hope they can continue their dominance over Crystal Palace on matchday two.
The Gunners have have been triumphant in these two side’s last five consecutive top-flight meetings, and the visitors have not tasted defeat at the hands of Palace since 1994.
Wenger’s title hopefuls will travel to Selhurst Park as the odds-on 4/5 favourites with Coral, and are 19/5 to win both halves on their travels, with Alan Pardew’s Eagles 7/2 to inflict a second shock loss on their opposition.
After making an underwhelming start to the campaign, Gunners boss Wenger is confident his side can respond positively against the Eagles, who overcame Norwich City in their previous season opener.
“We always respond well but a defeat is never a blessing,” Wenger said. “It always hurts. We have analysed what happened and have not to go overboard, but that shouldn’t take away our belief and potential.
“We were disappointed with the result and performance. When you want a strong season the way you respond to disappointment [is important] so we focus on our next game and prepare for that.
“Palace have good offensive potential, are strong defensively [and have] played together for a long time. We know every Premier League game can be a tough one so we prepare for that.”
Wenger confirmed that Alexis Sanchez is ready to start, following an extensive break after his Copa America duties with Chile, with Hector Bellerin also fit, while Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck remain sidelined. The hosts will only be without forward Marouane Chamakh for the clash in an otherwise fully fit squad.
Ferocious Frenhcman Olivier Giroud has struck against the Eagles in two successive seasons and the Arsenal targetman is 9/2 to extend that run by opening proceedings in his latest outing.
New Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye struck on his debut for the Eagles against Norwich and will need to be in fine form again in order for the Eagles to soar in their latest clash, with the Frenchman 5/1 to net anytime.
Betting tip: Olivier Giroud to score first @ 9/2