“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “I had the chance to play for this football club for nine years. I arrived at this football club as a boy, and I left as a man.
“This is the club where I played my best football. So obviously going back there will be emotional, but I will put that on the side because what is important for us to perform well and get points.
“I’m looking forward to it because spending nine years is a long period of time, and that period was successful. I was really pleased to be a part of a generation of players who made history for this football club.
“Going back there will be emotional, yes, but the focus and concentration will be on how we can perform well and get that result we want. I think it’s just about controlling yourself as a manager, and controlling the emotion.
“I always try to do that, and I will do it again on Monday.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was fulsome in his praise of Vieira as a player and a manager in his pre-match interviews, and the Palace manager returned the compliment in his analysis of his opposite number.
“I don’t know him well as a man, but of course he was a really good player,” Vieira explained. “He had a wonderful career. When you look at the way he managed himself to be a manager…he did everything in the right way.
“I think he is somebody who since he was playing, going into management was something he wanted to do. He reminds me a little bit of Didier Deschamps in the French national team. When he was playing, you knew Didier was going to be a football manager, and Arteta is the same type I think.
“I think when he was under pressure he did really well, because he has always been calm and composed. I think winning games and losing games, he has always been consistent in the way he conducts himself. This is a really good sign of a person who has everything under control.
“You get criticised because you don’t win the first few games, then you get Manager of the Month because you win a couple of games. This is the industry. He is doing well to focus on what he can control, how the team play, and keeping going to try and change things.”