Premier League 2018-19: Arsenal vs Manchester City – Arsenal's Predicted XI
Date: 12 August
Time: 4 pm BST/8.30pm IST
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal are set to begin their new era at the Premier League 2018-19 against the team which has grown leaps and bounds in the previous few years. Unai Emery will face Pep Guardiola for the 11th time but the bad news for Arsenal fans is that their manager has never been able to register a win against the Catalan.
Arsenal were very busy in the transfer window, signing a number of defensive reinforcements. Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis and Torreira, have all joined the London side, as Emery looks to finish in the top 4 of the league.
Will the newly revamped Arsenal squad get the better of Manchester City? Check out how Arsenal can line up in their first match of the season:
ARSENAL'S PREDICTED XI
New goalkeeper, Bernd Leno should start between the sticks for Arsenal. Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal are set to miss this game due to their knee injuries. Unai Emery can use the central midfielder, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, as a left-back. Niles played at that position for a number of times in the previous campaign. His attacking impetus will be helpful for the side to keep the flank busy.
As Laurent Koscielny is ruled out for several months, Sokratis and Mustafi will be forming the pair at the back. Lichtsteiner is available but Hector Bellerin will be getting the nod ahead of him.
Aaron Ramsey is set to extend his contract with Arsenal but will not be starting this game after a calf-injury he picked up in the pre-season. Granit Xhaka and the new signing, Lucas Torreira, are expected to form the base of the midfield. Torreira was impressive at the World Cup, where he dictated the tempo of his team from the back.
If Ramsey was available, he would have played in place of Xhaka. The Switzerland international was criticized for his poor defensive skills. With the presence of Torreira, Granit Xhaka will have the license to make late runs into the opposition's box.
Both of these players will have the primary responsibility of restricting Bernardo Silva and David Silva in the midfield.
Arsenal's final third is threatening and capable of creating havoc for the opposition. Lacazette is a prolific striker, he will use the learnings of his first season to score goals for his team. Mkhitaryan can play at the right of the wing which will give Ozil his favourite position, number 10. After a turbulent summer, the former German international will be looking to make a fresh start.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the X-factor for the Gunners. He is a striker but can also be deployed at the left-wing spot. He is a proven goalscorer and could score 25-30 goals for Arsenal in this season, depending on the way his team plays. His breakneck speed can be dangerous for Kyle Walker, who himself is very fast.