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Premier League 2018/19: 3 things Arsenal must do to defeat Manchester City

Rohit Ghosh
3.83K   //    12 Aug 2018, 02:00 IST

Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League
Fernandinho is Manchester City's version of Busquets

Unai Emery is set to take charge at the Emirates for his first competitive game as an Arsenal manager and the opponents do not come any bigger than this - reigning champions Manchester City.

Arsenal have had a decent transfer window with some solid signings like Sokratis and Lichtsteiner bolstering the backline, while the likes of Torreira and Guendouzi adding some steel and creativity to the midfield.

On the other hand, Manchester City's transfer activity has been much quieter as Riyad Mahrez has been the only high profile signing for the Citizens.

However, Pep isn't a man who gets into a complacent mode and will be wary that the "coat with the faulty zipper" has long been burnt to ashes and the new Arsenal manager will not show any form of leniency, having everything still to prove.

So as the two rivals go head to head at the Emirates on Sunday, here are some ways by which Arsenal can look to stop the City juggernaut:

#3 Stop Fernandinho

Unai Emery is experienced enough to understand that Fernandinho is City's, main man. Pep Guardiola's sides may start out as a 4-3-3 but they soon convert to a 3-1-4-2 during their build-up play.

Fernandinho is the one that sits just ahead of the three-man defence and therefore acts as their central fulcrum who can absorb the initial pressure and effectively pass into the creative outlets up front.

Sergio Busquets played that role to perfection during Barcelona's dominant period and Pep has found Fernandinho to be the perfect player for the Busquets role.

Pep needs his pivot to swivel at ease under pressure and build up from the back. On the other hand, when City are defending after losing possession, he needs the same pivot to break up the play as succinctly as he can. The Brazilian marvels at this role and is the hidden gem in a star-studded City lineup.

Liverpool, who defeated City last season negated Fernandinho's presence by using Firmino, who although started as the striker, marked his fellow countryman like a shadow for the entire ninety minutes.

Jurgen Klopp has already given a template of how to beat City and Emery will do well if he follows suit. Ozil might be miserable at this job but Unai needs to assign someone like Ramsey to do the Firmino role without compromising the attacking output.

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