Arsenal Football Club and Crystal Palace kicked off the new Premier League campaign on Friday evening.
The PUNCH had previously reported that 2022/23 Premier League action resumes today with Gunners traveling to Selhurst Park to face Palace in a London derby in their opening game.
For the third season in a row, Arsenal kick off their new campaign with a London derby; the Gunners had a 3-0 success at Fulham behind closed doors in 2020, but Brentford came last season with convincing 2-0 winners over the side of Arteta in their first-ever Premier League game.
Patrick Vieira’s squad beat the Gunners 3-0 in this match just a few months ago, but Mikel Arteta has worked over a productive summer to close the gaps in his Gunners XI.
Patrick Vieira took four points out of a possible six against his former club last season and pounded the Emirates grounds in frustration as his side conceded two points in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal before witnessing his side outclass the Gunners in April .
Leading the Eagles to 12th place last season and reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, former Invincibles captain Vieira earned a nomination for the season as manager, and optimism is high around Selhurst Park under the Frenchman.
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has expressed his optimism that Gabriel Jesus’ experience of regularly winning trophies at Manchester City will tarnish his new team-mates.
Jesus will make his league debut for the Gunners at Crystal Palace on Friday night after a summer move from City. The striker has won four Premier League titles between eight major trophies.
The Brazilian forward joined the Gunners for more playing time as he aims to make it to the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
He whetted the appetite of Arsenal fans by scoring seven goals in pre-season.
“If you take top players from top clubs and they’ve been extremely successful over the years, there’s expectation,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“Gabi’s role here will be very different from the one Gabi had at his previous club.
“He’s a huge talent with a mentality that’s so infectious and he’s going to give us a lot, but in the end it’s a team.”
Arteta has also recruited Oleksandr Zinchenko from City, while the additions of Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos, Matt Turner and William Saliba’s return from a loan spell at Marseille have expanded Arsenal’s roster.
Expectations to finish in the top four of the Premier League for the first time in seven years have been lifted in preparation for the season by beatings from Chelsea and Sevilla.
But Arteta knows those results matter little if his side doesn’t get off to a positive start at Selhurst Park, where they lost 3-0 last season.
“We are all excited. We had the preparation we wanted, it was well organised, we had good results, good preparation and good performance,” added the Spaniard.
“But now the ball is starting to roll tomorrow night in a very different context and against a Premier League team and we know what to expect there.”