After a fruitful summer for us that has seen five new faces through the door, six friendly wins and 26 goals netted, the eyes of the world will be focused upon us and Patrick Vieira’s side to see how the first match of the season goes.
Having been beaten 3-0 by Palace back in April, we’ll be hoping that our pre-season momentum will help spring a different result to start our 38-game campaign in the perfect way, but know it’ll be a tricky test with the Eagles losing just one of our last eight meetings.
The work requires a huge pool of staff to complete, with Director of Operations Sharon Lacey explaining a few quirks: “The storm we had before the end of last season damaged the fascia badly, so we were unable replace it straight away. Straight after the storm we had abseilers up removing jagged edges to make it safe.
“Once the new sponsor was confirmed, we then needed to hire abseilers to make the fascia safe and add a new fixture/support for the banner. If you look at the fascia you will see various paint colours, consistent with all the sponsors over the years, because the secure fixing won’t allow us to go edge to edge. Therefore the banner falls short of the fascia.
“The edges need to be hand-painted in black, and the fascia is over 115m long. It needed four abseilers to install it, and they couldn’t use lifts to avoid damaging the pitch. Not a small job!
In the days between then and the Premier League opener against Arsenal, even more has been done.
Supporters will also notice the new JD branding wrap across the Arthur Wait, Holmesdale and Whitehorse, an eye-catching new design on the corner mesh of the Arthur and Holmesdale, new Club Shop signage, a refurbished Fanzone and an updated floor design in front of the dugouts, featuring the new 1861 crest.
Vieira has continued to evolve an ageing squad by bringing in youth, such as £17.5 million Mali midfielder Cheick Doucoure [above] who aims to plug a large Connor Gallagher-shaped hole. The rest of their recruits seemingly look to be about building depth, with American defender Chris Richards arriving from Bayern Munich, teenager Malcolm Ebiowei plucked from cash-strapped Derby County, and former England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone snapped up on a free.
Palace’s pre-season results haven’t been bad, despite a large number of their star names missing their tour of Singapore and Australia after failing entry requirements. A mixture of first-team and academy players weren’t discredited in defeats to Liverpool and Manchester United, before drawing against Leeds United.
Meanwhile, the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke and Ebereche Eze stayed home and secured three wins against EFL clubs, before everyone came together again last weekend to beat Montpellier 4-2 at Selhurst.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal score predicted by simulation
To complete this simulation, we used FIFA 22 and updated the squads with the latest transfers. Due to FIFA 22 not having the latest kits, both sides lined up in the kits from the 2021/22 season.
We predict that Palace could set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with their line-up as follows: Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Eze, Doucoure, Schlupp; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha.
We predict that Arsenal could set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with their line-up as follows: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus.
From minute one, Arsenal were on top and controlling the game in the Palace half. A few chances fell the Gunners’ way with nothing to show for it, but Arteta’s side did eventually take the lead through Bukayo Saka.