Friday, August 15, 2014

14-15 Preview: Matchday 1

Referee: Jonathan Ross. Assistants: L Betts, M Scholes. Fourth Official: R Madley.

Projected Starters:
Arsenal (4-4-2)
   Bench: Martinez; Coquelin, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Rosicky, Zelalem, Campbell; Sanogo


Gibbs     Koscielny     Debuchy     Chambers

Ramsey       Cazorla       Arteta       Monreal


Crystal Palace (4-5-1)


Bolasie                                                      Puncheon
Ledley                    Jedinak

Ward                                           Mariappa
Delaney     Kelly


The big news of the match is that the people expecting to see Tony Pulis standing in the technical area on Saturday afternoon will instead find caretaker manager Kieth Millen after Pulis left by way of mutual consent just some 11 hours ago, around 06h30 GMT, 12:30 AM EDT (-5 GMT). With Arsenal still missing their world champions (Ozil, Mertesacker, and Podolski), there have been questions as to how the team will plug the holes in the short term logically. It would be wise for Wenger to spend for another striker in this transfer window. Especially when Giroud had been injured late in the season. But expect Monreal and Chambers to be replaced by their German teammates when back in the line-up and I imagine Giroud and Podolski will be interchangeable to some degree.

The following information was provided by the Premier League:
"I think there's going to be about six teams involved right until the wire," Ramsey told the club's official website. "It's going to be difficult but I think we have a great team here and great team spirit. We're in a good place at the moment.
"Hopefully, we can get off to a good start in the season and put [ourselves] in a good position."
Ahead of the match, Wenger revealed centre-back Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) should be fit to play. However, Abou Diaby (hip), Theo Walcott (knee), Ryo Miyaichi (knock), Serge Gnabry (knock) and close-season signing David Ospina (thigh) will miss out.
The high anticipation that Palace had coming into the opening matchweek is now gone. If anyone is to reignite their drive, it will have to be former Gunner Marouane Chamakh who recently extended his contract with the Glaziers. Also, Frasier Campbell's arrival from newly relegated Cardiff should somewhat bolster an already stealthy attack. He led his former club in goals scored last campaign and was brought in by the Eagles to continue displaying his goalscorer's touch.


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