Arsenal open the season with a new manager for the first time in over two decades, but Unai Emery will not get an easy start to his Arsenal career as they open up with defending champions Manchester City. The Gunners will start off their new era with as difficult a match as they could have asked for. Emery’s shaky defence will have to face an incredibly lethal Manchester City attack and that could spell trouble for the new Arsenal manager on his debut.
Pep Guardiola will kick off his campaign looking to become the first manager to win back to back Premier League titles since Sir Alex Ferguson did in 2008 and 2009. He’ll hope for a repeat of his last trip to the Emirates when his City side went up 3-0 after 33 minutes and coasted for the rest of the match.
Arsenal have most of their players fit after very few of their players went far in the World Cup, but they still could have a few players miss out on opening day. Sead Kolasinic and Laurent Koscielny will both miss out with long-term knee injuries, while Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal are doubts with calf and knee injuries respectively, according to Physioroom.com.
Manchester City look set to miss Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy, according to Physioroom.com.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
It didn’t get much attention because Arsenal’s season was basically over before he arrived, but Aubameyang had a fantastic start to his Arsenal career. The Gabonese international scored 10 goals and assisted four more in only 1058 Premier League minutes. If Arsenal are going to get back into the top four this season it will be because of their attack and that will likely be determined by the performance of Aubameyang.
Manchester City: David Sila
Manchester City have an abundance of attacking talent, but Silva’s metronomic play in midfield is still crucial to their success. The ability for both him and De Bryune to drop deeper was a key to City’s success, but both still provided end product as well, with Silva getting nine goals and 11 assists in 2437 minutes.
Manchester City should win this match. While Arsenal’s attack may be stellar, their defence is really really poor and City should be able to slice through it at will and create a lot of chances. It will likely take a heroic goalkeeping performance, some bad finishing from City, or some fantastic finishing from Arsenal if they are to have a shot in this match.