Pre-Match Report

Arsenal v Manchester City: The Brief

This isn’t just a new season - it’s a new era.

On Sunday, Unai Emery takes charge of his first competitive game since being appointed in May. And it doesn’t get much more competitive than the champions, Manchester City.
Will Aaron Ramsey or Nacho Monreal be fit? How many of our five new signings will play a part? Will it be Leno or Cech in goal? And who will get the nod in central defence?
Emery has some big decisions to make and, as ever, your opinions are welcome. Use the #ArsenalNation hashtag on Twitter to tell us which team you’d pick.
And scroll down this page for everything you need to know ahead of our Premier League opener.

The Breakdown: Manchester City (h) preview
Unai Emery speaks ahead of Manchester City


ARSENAL: Koscielny (Achilles), Kolasinac (knee), Ramsey (doubt), Monreal (doubt)

MAN CITY: Laporte (doubt), Mendy (muscle)


Adrian Clarke: “Tactically Riyad Mahrez gives City something new and, if he plays, Ainsley Maitland-Niles must concentrate hard to stop him. The key with Mahrez is to watch the ball and stay on your feet. If you take your eye off the ball he will fire a shot or a cross away.

"This match will be a good chance to put Arsenal’s pressing tactics into action. The champions are brilliant at playing their way out from the back but they do occasionally lose the ball in bad areas. When this happens I believe Arsenal have the quality up front to be decisive from counters and transitions.” 

Riyad Mahrez

Michael Cox: “The arrival of Mahrez was greeted with surprise in some quarters, but City’s squad last season only featured four genuine attackers, in a system that demanded three. Adding a fifth option alongside Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus is hardly overkill, although it remains to be seen quite how Guardiola will accommodate Mahrez.

"Previously, he’s ordered Sterling and Sane to remain wide and stretch the play rather than drifting inside, as Mahrez prefers, and this suggests Guardiola has a tactical tweak planned. Sterling might be fielded more regularly in a false nine position, where he excelled away at Old Trafford last season.”

Matchday Show: Manchester City (h)

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