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Premier League

  • 16 August 2014
  • • 17:30
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: J. Moss
  • • Attendance: 59962
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Arsenal - Crystal Palace Preview: Eagles rocked by Pulis exit before Premier League opener

Arsenal - Crystal Palace Preview: Eagles rocked by Pulis exit before Premier League opener

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Keith Millen takes temporary charge following the 56-year-old's surprise departure on Thursday evening, while Alexis Sanchez is set to make his Premier League debut

Crystal Palace enter the new Premier League season without a manager after Tony Pulis left the club by mutual consent less than 48 hours before their opening fixture against Arsenal on Saturday.

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5/6 Arsenal are 5/6 with Paddy Power to beat Crystal Palace to nil
The 56-year-old took over from Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park last November with Palace in the bottom three and managed to steer the club to an 11th-placed finish in the Premier League.

But Pulis, who was named as the Premier League’s manager of the year in May, had become dismayed by Palace’s transfer policy and left the club on Thursday evening after unsuccessful talks with co-chairman Steve Parish.

Keith Millen takes temporary charge of the first team and could hand debuts to Fraizer Campbell and centre-back Brede Hangeland, but there are doubts over the availability of Damien Delaney (knock), Adrian Mariappa (rib) and Jonathan Williams (thigh).

While the mood at Palace appears somewhat despondent, there is a stark contrast at Arsenal, who head into the clash on the back of an excellent 3-0 victory over Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield last Sunday.

Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud were all on target at Wembley, with summer signings Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez also featuring.

Alexis' £31.8 million arrival from Barcelona has particularly caught the imagination at the Emirates Stadium and the forward's signing has added to the feel-good factor that has grown since Arsenal ended a nine-year trophy drought by beating Hull City in the FA Cup final in May.

And midfielder Ramsey believes Arsene Wenger's men can use that momentum to push for the Premier League title this season after finishing fourth last term.

"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 summer signing David Ospina (thigh) will miss out.

Wenger also hinted last week that Arsenal's Germany international trio of Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil would not feature after their World Cup-winning exploits.

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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Arsenal

Crystal Palace

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal
Draw
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Crystal Palace FC Crystal Palace
87%

Top 3 Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
3 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Arsenal FC ARS
4 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Arsenal FC ARS
2 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY

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