Ex-Arsenal star Paul Merson expects his former club to come away with the three points when they face Crystal Palace on Friday evening.
The Gunners have been excellent in pre-season and Merson is hoping that Mikel Arteta’s side will put down a marker at Selhurst Park as they look to finish in the top four this campaign:
“Arsenal need to make a statement now. This is a big game for them, because they need to lay down a foundation. If they lose here, people will assume that they’re flaky and still the same old Arsenal. If they want to make it to the top four this season, they need to win this game.”
Merson has gone with a 3-1 win to Arsenal, which is a very confident prediction, considering Arteta’s men were comprehensively beaten in the same fixture back in April.
However, the improvements to the first-team squad over the summer, and the fact that it is the opening game of the season, mean the Gunners are in much better shape to get a result.
Whether it will be as comfortable as Merson, expects, though, we shall see but, if the London club can get off to a winning start, it will be a huge morale boost heading into a run of winnable fixtures.