Vieira expects tough test against Arsenal

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Patrick Vieira says he expects tough test from the new Arsenal side but believes his side has the tools to compete in the new season.

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira expect tough test against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal as the new season is set to begin.

The Eagles will host Arsenal in the first game of the Premier League later tonight as the London team will be the opening game of the competition.

Vieira’s men defeat the Gunners 3-0 in their last season encounter but the Frenchman believe that Arsenal are in a better place than last season.

Vieira expects tough test against Arsenal

“It will be a completely different game,” Vieira stated this in his pre-match press conference. “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. 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.”

Arsenal are not the only team that changed this season but the Eagles manager believe they can be more competitive this season with their new additions.

“I believe we can be even more competitive than we were last year,” Vieira said. “The game tomorrow will be important for us to start as well as we can.

“What was really important for us and for me is to keep that stability and try to improve the squad. 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.

“A good season would be to improve ourselves on last year. Players, individually and collectively, we want to be in a better place, play better football, be more competitive. That has to be the challenge for us. We have to raise the bar and be more demanding on ourselves to be more competitive.

“I don’t think the pressure will be more on their side than our side. We’re at home, want to do well and want to compete. It’s the first game of the season so both teams will compete to win the game. We will play with a lot of determination, desire, compete as best we can and of course try to win the game.”

Vieira added that he has the support behind the scenes and that keeps him confident, and that Palace have unity during challenging spells.

“I think there is always a confidence and belief in myself,” he said. “I’m surrounded by the same people at the football club who believe in what we’re trying to do. It’s going to be a challenging season no doubt but we’ll stick together through difficult periods and the season will be not as easy as people think.

“We know it’ll be challenging because we’re talking about the Premier League and we’re facing different challenges. What’s important for us is to be ready for those challenges – and we will be.”



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