So we're almost here, so soon after we won the FA Cup at Wembley. The saying 'time flies by when you're having fun' rings true in this instance.
It's only going to be a short post today as I have plenty things to do and achieve before kick off and I'm not missing the kick off for anyone, I'm sure you understand.
Kos the boss is back at the heart of defence alongside impressive new boy Calum Chambers so it will be interesting to see how they do as a partnership. There is nothing wrong with their abilities but as a partnership they are unlikely to have anything close to the understanding that big Per Mertesacker has with Koscielny.
I think it could be important that Gibbs and Debuchy do not leave our centre backs isolated when bombing forward in search of the break through because I suspect that Palace will be looking to play on the break with so many speedy players going forward.
I think everyone can pretty much guess the team selection this afternoon. The only possible question mark might be which player leads the line.
Oliver Giroud was short of match fitness and looked behind the pace so Yaya Sanogo was given the chance in the Community Shield but unless you've been pacing around London Colny next to Arsene Wenger then you are not going to know if anything has changed in that regard. A few training sessions with Giroud looking sharp and flicking passes through to Alexis might change the managers mind but at the same time Sanogo might have been going from strength to strength after having a full pre season.
This game is unlikely to be the walk over that some are predicting though. When we faced Crystal Palace for the first time last season, Ian Holloway had just walked away from the job *Deja Vu* and in came Keith Millen. Holloway's team was very leaky just as his Premier League Blackpool team were but the temporary manager came in and binned the old approach, instead adopting a far more cautious approach.
Millen is back in charge of the team today and it's not as if Pulis would not have been preparing his team for this match before he rode off into the sunset.
So I'm expecting a rather congested area outside of their penalty area with the aim of making us go wide. The good news for us is that we have a player wide who won't just cross the ball to the head of the opposition central defenders forehead but he can beat his man and get around the back and draw further defenders towards him and create other spaces in the box.
It's a shame that we haven't got Mr space finder and lock picker Mesut Özil in the side today so the creative duties will have to be shared out between Cazorla, Ramsey and dribbling slalom skier Wilshere.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
It's important we get off to a good start and I'd imagine we'll see another high tempo aggressive approach. How lovely would an early goal be? Manchester United have already shown what can happen if you are not on your game. Hopefully the van Gaal love in can take a back seat for a little while.
Random prediction for you. Alexis to get fouled in the penalty area and Arteta to score the spot kick to put us ahead. It flashed through my head so I'm adding it. If it happens I'm off out to get a lottery ticket.
Great to have the Arsenal back, let's hope we are all glowing and in a good mood come the final whistle.