Arsenal team news vs Crystal Palace: Expected starting XI as Gunners dish out three debuts

Arteta outlines reasons for making Odegaard Arsenal's new captain

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Arsenal will travel to Crystal Palace tonight for the Premier League curtain-raiser as they look to take their pre-season form into the new campaign. The Gunners have produced some brilliant football in pre-season after making several exciting signings over the summer.

Arsenal got off to the worst possible start last season as they were defeated 2-0 by Brentford on the opening night of the campaign. But the north Londoners have improved massively over the last 12 months and can now call upon former Manchester City ace Gabriel Jesus to lead the line.

But Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will be well aware of the threat Crystal Palace pose after his side failed to get the better of them last season. And Express Sport takes a look at the starting XI the Spaniard could roll with.

Goalkeeper – Ramsdale

Arsenal signed Aaron Ramsdale during last summer’s transfer window as the goalkeeper quit Sheffield United to move to the Emirates Stadium. And Ramsdale revolutionised the Gunners defence as he quickly established himself as Arteta’s No 1.

The England international will be key to his team once again this season as Arsenal look to secure a top-four finish.

Defence – White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko

With Takehiro Tomiyasu missing pre-season through injury, Arteta has used a string of players at right-back ahead of the new campaign. Ben White could be the man to hold onto the starting shirt after helping his side keep back-to-back clean sheets in their final two friendlies, while summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko could be handed his debut on the opposite flank.

William Saliba has impressed at the heart of the Gunners backline during pre-season after returning to the club this summer following three consecutive loan spells in France.

And the 21-year-old could be in line to make his first competitive appearance for Arsenal, three years after joining the club from Saint-Etienne. Saliba is likely to partner Gabriel in central defence after the Brazilian enjoyed a fine campaign last time around.

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Midfield – Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka

Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka could be given the nod to partner each other in midfield and protect the Arsenal backline. The duo played alongside each other three times during pre-season and will be looking to provide stability through the middle.

New captain Martin Odegaard should line up slightly further forward as the most advanced No 8 to provide service to his team’s forwards.

Forwards – Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Big things are expected of Jesus after Arteta managed to prise him away from the Premier League champions earlier this summer. And the Brazil international could be the man to fire his side to Champions League qualification.

Jesus is in line to make his competitive debut up front and will be flanked by Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, who have both looked superb in recent matches. And the trio will be looking to light up south London on opening night.

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