Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: Match Preview
3 min read

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: Match Preview

The offseason is over and it is time to kick off the regular season (but we still get to enjoy transfer season for another month and that might be everyone's favorite) with Arsenal once again in the curtain-raising match visiting a London team.

Arsenal come in as the favorites both in my model and in the betting markets but not overwhelmingly so.

Let's dig into things a little more.

The preseason for Crystal Palace has been mixed (just from looking at the scorelines, because I didn't watch a minute of it) with 1 win, 1 draw, and 2 losses. They beat the team you would expect in Ipswitch Town, they drew with Leeds and lost to Manchester United and Liverpool.

Overall they had goals 6 from 5.6 expected goals while allowing 8 goals from 6.3 expected goals.  All that being said we shouldn't read too much into the preseason, with nothing from these results that would merit a surprise that would change my opinion of this team.

In the transfer market, the biggest moves were Conor Gallagher return to Chelsea after a successful loan while they have brought in Cheick Doucouré and Chris Richards.

Doucouré looks like one of the most promising midfielders in France and a very shrewd move by Crystal Palace.

Richards, I don't know a ton about but he seems to have fit the bill as a solid all around center back comfortable with the ball at his feet that Patrick Vieira wants to have in his team, it will be interesting if he is played right away or if he takes a bit longer to adapt.

Attack Comparison

Overall Arsenal comes out looking like the stronger team in attack, producing more shots and goals, while also doing better at getting the ball up the field. This is more of a style thing, but Crystal Palace last season were a better and more aggressive team looking to beat their man with a dribble (lots of dribbles and lots of turnovers) while also being more dependent on crossing to generate chances.

On defense, the teams look much closer, with Crystal Palace perhaps looking a bit better overall.

Crystal Palace were a fairly aggressive team trying to win the ball back but did not generally commit players forward to win the ball back with the third lowest final third pressures last season, this probably helps explain some of the fast break shot suppression that they showed last season. They did look to pressure the ball heavily once it got closer to their goal with an overall pressure rate that was pretty high.

Final thoughts

This is a good test for Arsenal, this is not an easy match but it is a good first team to measure up against where the team will be expecting to come away with a result.

We are all excited after a rampaging pre-season and I really do hope that we see a continuation of the high pressing and combination play in the final third that worked so well. I am sure Crystal Palace will be well drilled to try and counter this with there solid defense.

Overall I think that this match ends with Arsenal winning 2-0 while playing well.