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Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Wenger expecting a response

Arsenal’s surprise opening-day defeat to West Ham will inspire them to bounce back against Crystal Palace, Arsene Wenger believes.

Wenger’s side were beaten 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium last Sunday, as their expected tilt at the Premier League title got off to an underwhelming start.

The Frenchman remains relaxed, though, and feels the disappointment of losing to West Ham should lead to a response at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

“We always respond well but a defeat is never a blessing,” Wenger said. “It always hurts. 

“We have analysed what happened and have not to go overboard, but that shouldn’t take away our belief and potential.

“We were disappointed with the result and performance. When you want a strong season the way you respond to disappointment [is important] so we focus on our next game and prepare for that.

“Palace have good offensive potential, are strong defensively [and have] played together for a long time. We know every Premier League game can be a tough one so we prepare for that.”

Wenger also confirmed on Friday that Alexis Sanchez is ready to start the game following his extended break after the Copa America, and Hector Bellerin is also fit. 

However, Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Danny Welbeck (knee) remain sidelined. 

In contrast to Arsenal, Alan Pardew’s Palace enjoyed a winning start to the new season as they spoiled Norwich City’s Premier League return with a 3-1 success at Carrow Road.

And Pardew – who continues to be without Marouane Chamakh (hamstring) – is upbeat about his team’s chances of causing an upset this weekend. 

“It’s difficult to stop them [playing their way], but we need to play our game,” he said.

“Generally our performance at Norwich was below our best. We want more control in games this year, which will be interesting for our fans and for the media. 

“We want to wrestle control from Arsenal. It will make a different kind of statement if we were to beat them.

“We are looking forward to game, we’re in good shape. Everybody is hustling for positions.”

Fri 14 Aug, 2015
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