Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace Opening Week Premier League Picks

Kevin Stott

Friday, August 8, 2014 9:40 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 9:40 PM UTC

The second of two London derbies on Opening Day takes place at Emirates Stadium in North London when Arsenal (24-7-7) plays host to Crystal Palace (13-6-19) next Saturday (August 16) as the 2014-15 English Premier League returns for your viewing and gambling pleasure.


The Gunners qualified for a UEFA Champions League playoff round spot with their fourth-place finish and did win the FA Cup to end a long trophyless drought, but Arsenal and its fans have to be be somewhat disappointed with the spring swoon last season after it looked liked the club had a shot at winning the Premier League title. Crystal Palace, behind brilliant manager Tony Pulis, managed an 11th place finish and made life hard last season for a number of surprised clubs in England’s top flight.


Arsenal Went 2-0-0 vs. Palace Last Season with Two 2-0 Wins
Arsenal (68 GF-41 GA, +27 GD) and manager Arsène Wenger lost just one time at home last season (Chelsea) and finished with an impressive 13-5-1 mark at the Emirates (36 GF-11 GA) at Home in EPL play last season while the Eagles (33 GF-48 GA, -15 GD) were 5-3-11 away from Selhurst Park last season and are the biggest underdogs (+950, Stan James) on the EPL board on opening weekend. The Gunners (-333) should definitely win this match, but with such a steep price, some gamblers/punters may prefer to lay the 1½ goals (-115, Bovada) and hope the home team wins by at least two goals. A wise approach to using Arsenal laying the large (-350, Bovada) number would be to parlay them with some other Opening Weekend high-octane favorites like Manchester United on Saturday (-325) over Swansea City, Liverpool on Sunday (-300) over Southampton and Chelsea on Monday (-275) over EPL newcomers Burnley.  

When these two met last season, Arsenal won both times by 2-0 scorelines as Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny registered clean sheets and the Poland international could very well blank Palace again here in North London in the opener and the steep-175 odds (Stan James) on the “No” for Both Teams To Score reveals just how much the oddsmakers think that there could be an Arsenal shutout in this game. Something to think about before placing your soccer picks.


Gunners Loaded with Talent, Have Just One Loss Against Palace
Arsenal has more than enough talent to hang with anyone in the Premiership with a roster that includes Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and the Gunners are rumored to be going after Spanish La Liga’s midfielder Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), among others. And with the aforementioned Szczesny in goal, Arsenal can be very impressive on paper, and, often at times, on the pitch. The Gunners are also 5-2-1 against Crystal Palace—and have outscored the Eagles 15-4—but these stats in this series are basically ancient history and most of them (the scores) are from last millennium. Of note, the only time Palace defeated Arsenal was almost 20 years ago (October 21, 1994).


Goals or No Goals?
Crystal Palace is a scrappy team and does play strong defense in front of Argentinian goalkeeper Julian Speroni and five of the last six games in this series have gone under the total (2½u +105, Stan James). And the Eagles went 13-6 to the 'under' away last season while Arsenal was 12-7 to the 'under' at Holloway, London last season. But despite all these underish trends, I think the Gunners will score 2 goals in one of the halves and at least 1 more in another with Ramsey, Sánchez and possibly Giroud opening their 2014-2015 season scoring accounts.

The Total Goals Exact bet is an often overlooked prop, and if you think there will be exactly a total of 4 goals (4-0, 3-1, 2-2) in this derby (4/1, Stan James), you can give that a go. For me, using Arsenal as a parlay element and placing a straight bet on the Over 2½ (-137, Stan James) is the best way to go as the Gunners will again try to get off to a hot start this fresh season in the Premier League.

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Prediction: Arsenal 3 Crystal Palace 0

Free Soccer Pick: Over 2½ -137 (Stan James)


Kevin Stott

August 8, 2014

SBR Story #20

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