Arsenal will head into this weekend's meeting with Crystal Palace looking for a win after experiencing a defeat in their opening Premier League fixture.

The Eagles began their campaign with a victory at newly-promoted Norwich City, but Arsene Wenger's men were dealt a shock in a home defeat to West Ham United.


There were high hopes coming into the new season for fans of Arsenal, and many pundits had been tipping them to mount a genuine title challenge for the first time in a number of years.

Two successive FA Cup triumphs and the arrival of experienced goalkeeper Petr Cech were followed by an impressive pre-season and a morale-boosting victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield.

However, all that early season optimism turned to despair last Sunday as they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to West Ham at the Emirates, despite having all of the possession and having 22 shots on goal.

Their defensive frailties were cruelly exposed by the Hammers, with Cech coming to punch a free kick from Dimitri Payet and getting beaten to the ball by Cheikhou Kouyate, before Mauro Zarate was gifted space outside the box and fired past the keeper, who once again badly misjudged the shot.

The manner of the defeat has cranked the transfer rumour mill into overdrive and Olivier Giroud's lacklustre display in the attack has seen Karim Benzema heavily linked with a move to the Emirates.

Wenger has since insisted that he will not be forced into the market and has said that his players put too much pressure on themselves to perform and are eager to bounce back on Sunday.

The Gunners boss will know that it is vital his side achieve a result at Selhurst Park with Liverpool to come in their next match, while they are set to face title rivals Chelsea shortly after the international break in September.

Recent form: WL

Crystal Palace

The Eagles enjoyed a strong end to their last campaign with victories over Liverpool and Swansea City, and they recorded their third Premier League win in a row on the opening day against Norwich.

They struggled in the early stages, but after the Canaries had missed a number of presentable chances, Wilfried Zaha and Damien Delaney struck either side of half time to give them a two-goal lead.

A strike from Nathan Redmond pulled a goal back for the hosts, before Cameron Jerome thought that he had levelled with a volley inside the box, but it was ruled out for a high foot, and Yohan Cabaye added a late third to seal the win.

It was not the greatest display that they have produced since Alan Pardew took over as manager in January, but their grit and determination was enough to seal a crucial three points to begin their season on a high note.

A major positive was the goal-scoring debut of big-money summer signing Cabaye, who will be eager to impress on his first home game this weekend against the Gunners, who tried to sign him two years ago from Newcastle United when Pardew was the manager.

He is one of four players who have arrived at Selhurst Park this summer, but the transfer speculation surrounding the club this week has been dominated by Dwight Gayle, who is mulling over a switch to Bristol City.

Recent form: W

Team News

Palace have no fresh injury worries, but Marouane Chamakh and Julian Speroni are still ruled out.

Yannick Bolasie could feature after coming off the bench last weekend, although Jason Puncheon and Zaha are expected to start following their impressive displays at Carrow Road.

Arsenal could hand Alexis Sanchez his first start of the season after being given extra time off for the Copa America.

Hector Bellerin has also returned from a thigh strain, but Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck remain on the sidelines....


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