How Arsenal could line up in Premier League opener against Crystal Palace with Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba starting | The Sun

How Arsenal could line up in Premier League opener against Crystal Palace with Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba starting | The Sun

MIKEL ARTETA is primed to hand out some exciting debuts as Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace on Friday night.

The Gunners will get the new Prem season up and running desperate to avoid history repeating itself.


Arsenal were humiliated 2-0 by new-boys Brentford in the Friday night curtain raiser 12 months ago.

While they were battered 3-0 at Selhurst Park in April as their top four challenge unravelled.

Arteta, 40, will feel confident that his side are far better placed to get off to a good start this time around, having lost their first three matches last year.

After spending another £118million this summer, the Spaniard's greater squad depth will afford no excuses – despite already possessing a bothersome injury list.

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Arsenal thumped Sevilla 6-0 in their final pre-season friendly last week – with new boy Gabriel Jesus crashing home a first Emirates hat-trick.

Arteta is likely to go with the same XI that trounced the Spanish outfit when he takes his side south of the river.

Aaron Ramsdale will start the season between the sticks – with Bernd Leno, the man that began the Brentford disaster last season, having now been sold to Fulham.

While William Saliba could finally be handed his debut at centre-back – THREE YEARS after joining for £27m.

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The Frenchman is set to be picked alongside Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-back, with Takehiro Tomiyasu's latest injury prompting Ben White being shuffled to right-back.

Alternatively Cedric Soares could come in, while Hector Bellerin is back at the club and was an unused substitute against Sevilla.

First-choice left-back Kieran Tierney hasn't played since Arsenal's first pre-season friendly against FC Nurnberg, having suffered a further knee issue.

This could offer Oleksandr Zinchenko an opportunity to debut at left-back.

Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka remain Arteta's first choice midfield pairing, with Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga in reserve.

New captain Martin Odegaard will be creator-in-chief in the No10 position – with alternative Fabio Vieira having suffered with a foot injury.

Emile Smith Rowe is also set to miss out with a muscular issue, like Tierney having not featured since playing FC Nurnberg on July 8.

Bukayo Saka will start on the right flank after his two-goal performance against Sevilla – with Nicolas Pepe in reserve.

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While Gabriel Martinelli is set to get the nod on the left-flank – Reiss Nelson and Marquinhos being Arteta's only other options.

Fans will be excited to watch Jesus' competitive debut following his hat-trick last week, while Eddie Nketiah will be back on the bench after penning a new £100,000-a-week extension at the end of last season.

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