Monday, 6 August 2018

12th august - Arsenal vs Manchester City


As far as opening fixtures can go for a title defence, a trip to Arsenal is about as harsh as it can get. However, with the reigning champions in good form in the pre-season and Arsenal still trying to find their form and shape, can Pep Guardiola get the Unai Emery era off to a similar start to the Wenger era?

Arsenal News

While some of their new signings like Lucas Torreira might not come in for this one, this is a new look Arsenal side. Some new signings but a crucially different style of play is immediately apparent, and it shines through in just about every area of the Gunners side.

We can expect them to line up with something approaching a similar line-up, as Emery gets his new signings in the door. An interesting switch, though, is that of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a more wide position; he’s playing off the left mostly, which should add a bit of a change to the Arsenal attacking dynamic – and crucially free of Alexandre Lacazette.

City News

Nothing really to say on the City line-up; like many of the top sides, they will be limited in numbers for the early weeks. With young Brazilian Douglas Luiz set to get a work permit, he could come in to this game without much issue: he already looks like a prime Pep player.

New signing Riyad Mahrez might play, too, and will provide City with further depth in the attacking areas across the season.

Verdict

An away win feels likely – Emery has done a good so far at Arsenal, but the shift needed to overcome their present limitations won’t come overnight. Unless City start like so many champions defending their crown, we cannot see Arsenal being able to stop a hugely determined City side on the opening day.