Crystal Palace begin their 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign at FA Cup and Community Shield holders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
Keith Millen will take caretaker charge of the side for the clash against the Gunners – just as he did in October last year – following Tony Pulis departure by mutual consent earlier this week.
Millen will look to pick his players up after a turbulent few days in SE25 in a bid to defy the odds against Arsene Wenger’s men, who are looking for their first opening day victory since 2009.
Palace come into the game following a good pre-season, during which the first team picked up four wins, two draws and suffered just one defeat.
Arsenal though will be high on confidence themselves following last weekend’s 3-0 demolition of Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley and will be looking to lay down an early marker in the race for the Premier League title.
Arsenal: The Gunners are likely to be without World Cup-winning trio Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, who were all given extended breaks following Germany’s triumph over Argentina last month.
Laurent Koscielny has been declared fit to start at the heart of the Arsenal back line, with Calum Chambers expected to partner the Frenchman in Mertesacker’s absence.
Ex-Southampton man Chambers could be one of three Gunners debutants this evening, with former Newcastle full-back Mathieu Debuchy likely to start at right back, with marquee signing Alexis Sanchez also set to make his Emirates bow.
Another summer signing, Columbia goalkeeper David Ospina, is not fit to start in goal after picking up a thigh injury.
Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry are also ruled out with ACL and knee injuries respectively.
Crystal Palace: Summer signings Fraizer Campbell, Brede Hangeland and Martin Kelly are all in contention to make their debuts for Palace in this evening’s London derby.
Adrian Mariappa and Damien Delaney are both doubtful after missing the Eagles’ final pre-season friendly of the summer at FC Augsburg last weekend, while Jonny Williams is definitely ruled out with a thigh injury.
Glenn Murray, Dwight Gayle and Marouane Chamakh will battle it out for the striking places, along with new boy Campbell.
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: L Betts, M Scholes
Fourth Official: R Madley
|Arsenal wins||Draws||Palace wins|
LAST MEETING AT THE EMIRATES
Crystal Palace fell to a 2-0 defeat on their last visit to Arsenal, which came in February this year.
After a battling first half performance which saw the sides go in level at 0-0 at the break, the Gunners took the lead with less than two minutes of the second half played thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
And the England international doubled the hosts’ advantage with 17 minutes remaining to secure all three points for Arsene Wenger’s side – a result that put them back on top of the Premier League table.
Tickets in the away end at the Emirates Stadium have completely sold out.
The club would advise that only supporters with valid match tickets should make the journey to north London for today’s game.
Crystal Palace: 11/1
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Live commentary of all 90 minutes will be available on Palace Player, with highlights and post-match reaction available on cpfc.co.uk.