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“Will be booed all game”, “been dreading exactly this” – Arsenal fans unhappy with 29-year-old starting Premier League opener against Crystal Palace

The Gunners take on Crystal Palace in the opening fixture.
The Gunners take on Crystal Palace in the opening fixture.
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Vatsal Vora

Arsenal fans are disappointed to see midfielder Thomas Partey in the starting XI for their opening Premier League game against Crystal Palace on August 5.

The 29-year-old midfielder has allegedly been accused of sexual assault (via Pulse.ng) but is still named in the team by manager Mikel Arteta. The Ghanaian is set to partner Granit Xhaka in midfield with new club captain Martin Odegaard playing the attacking midfielder role.

According to recent reports, an unnamed Premier League player was arrested on suspicion of rape but allowed to continue playing for his club until further investigations.

The Gunners' starting XI can be seen below:

Arsenal fans on Twitter were disgusted to see Partey named in the starting XI. Some have stated that the club should have sacked the midfielder long back while others believe he will be booed for the whole game against Crystal Palace.

Here are a few tweets in that regard:

@Arsenal @BukayoSaka87 @gabrieljesus9 Partey will be booed all game
been dreading exactly this for a month, but the club are really going to start someone involved in multiple active sexual assault investigations. they've made it abundantly clear they don't care about the support of anyone who feels like me, but like fuck am i cheering this on twitter.com/Arsenal/status…

In other team news, Arteta has handed debuts to two of their new summer signings, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Jesus was prolific in the pre-season after joining from Manchester City for £45 million, netting seven goals in five outings.

Another new signing in the form of goalkeeper Matt Turner finds a place on the bench. Aaron Ramsdale is Arsenal's first-choice goalkeeper and has now also been given the number 1 shirt ahead of the new season.

William Saliba has also been given his first start for the Gunners. The French defender joined the club back in 2019 but was sent on three different loan spells away from the club.


How did Arsenal perform against Crystal Palace last season?

It is worth mentioning that the Gunners failed to beat Crystal Palace over the course of the two games played in the Premier League last season. It could have easily been two defeats against their London rivals.

Arsenal secured a 2-2 draw against Palace during their first encounter at the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta's side, however, needed an injury-time equalizer from Alexandre Lacazette to snatch two points away from Crystal Palace.

The last time Arsenal scored against Crystal Palace was in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last season, first leg.Alexandre Lacazette scoring an injury time equaliser https://t.co/cBiVNtR3GG

The game at Selhurst Park was a much simpler affair for Crystal Palace. Patrick Vieira's side secured a convincing 3-0 victory over the Gunners towards the end of last season. Jean-Philippe Mateta, Jordan Ayew and Wilfred Zaha were the goalscorers on that occasion.

Arsenal will be looking to secure three points against Palace to make a positive start to the new season. Last season, the Gunners lost their opening three games of the Premier League campaign.


Edited by Aditya Singh
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