Arsenal vs Manchester City: Predicted Lineups, Premier League 2018/19
The first round of Premier League fixtures have already kicked off and the biggest game of the weekend is arguably between Arsenal and Manchester City. It is a Super Sunday clash that will see the defending champions travel to the Emirates Stadium.
New Gunners boss Unai Emery couldn't have asked for a tougher fixture to make his Premier League bow than one against a manager he has never beaten. Emery has faced a Guardiola side 10 times and never won.
After 22 long years, Arsene Wenger was asked to step down and a new era dawns at the North London club that sees a frustrated fan base excited about new possibilities but also wary of the time it will take Emery to stamp his authority on the team.
"We are excited. We have a lot of ambition to start [well] on Sunday against the last winners of the Premier League. Also, I think that it's a big and great match that we can play to start this season." - Unai Emery
Pep Guardiola has only had good things to say about Emery after he was appointed the new Gunners manager.
"He has enough experience to know exactly what [it takes]. He was in France, he was with many teams in Spain, so he has a lot of experience. He is a smart, intelligent, well-prepared manager, so he will know exactly what to do." - Pep Guardiola on Emery
Arsenal played City three times last season and lost all games with a 9-1 aggregate scoreline. It included two Premier League fixtures and a League Cup final.
Arsenal vs Manchester City: Team News
For Arsenal, their biggest concern will be at left-back with two specialist players in that position out for the fixture. Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac are set to miss the game owing to injuries and Emery may have to ask Ainsley Maitland-Niles to deputise in the backline.
Another starter who might not make the XI is Aaron Ramsey who suffered a calf injury in pre-season. The Welsh midfielder is expected to return to the side after he resumed training but may not be 100% fit to play 90 minutes.
Pep Guardiola also has a couple of injuries but will consider himself the more fortunate manager of the two as his starters are fit for the game. Eliaquim Mangala and Danilo are injured while World Cup starters Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are expected to play after a late return to the side.
Arsenal vs Manchester City: Probable Lineups
For Emery, the first question on his mind is whether he picks Petr Cech in goal or Bernd Leno. The new goalkeeper from Bayer Leverkusen might get the nod for his superior ability to play with the ball at his feet - a prerequisite against a team like City.
Although Emery might set his team up in a 4-2-3-1, we might see them switch toa 4-4-2 off the ball to counter City.
Guardiola may bench Raheem Sterling for this game after he only just returned from his vacations and we could see his new £60m record signing Riyad Mahrez play out on the left.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno; Belleri, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles; Torreira, Xhaka; Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang; Lacazette.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Sane, Aguero.