Although Patrick Vieira claims his Crystal Palace team is prepared to face Arsenal, he admits that his previous team will be much more competitive.
Friday night’s Premier League season opener between Palace and Arsenal is expected to be an exciting London rivalry based on previous meetings between the two teams.
In a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Emirates last October, the Gunners pulled out a last-second equalizer, while the Eagles ran riot at Selhurst Park in a 3-0 victory that severely hurt Arsenal’s chances of making the Champions League.
But Vieira thinks that given how much Mikel Arteta has improved, Friday’s game will be much more difficult.
Speaking to the press ahead of the game tomorrow, ( via Metro) he said:
It will be a completely different game. I think with the new players they have in the squad of course they are a better team. They had really good games during the pre-season. I think they’re in a better place than last year.
The new players they’ve brought in, they are much stronger. They have the squad to challenge and be closer to the title. We know that it is going to be challenging but I believe that we have the tools to make it difficult for them, to make it challenging for them.
What’s important for us is to be ready for those challenges – and we will be. Last year at home with the support we had we had some really good matches, and it will be important to keep it that way.
A couple of players came on [board] and that will give us more challenges because what we want is players to make it difficult for me to choose the starting XI.