Premier League 2018-19: Will Arsenal field this line-up against Manchester City?
Unai Emery’s first test in the Premier League is likely to be one of his most difficult. His Arsenal side will host one of the most lethal teams not just in England, but across Europe.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will be visiting the Emirates Stadium on Sunday for the afternoon kick-off. The Gunners and the former Paris Saint-Germain boss will be hoping to get all three points against a resolute City, but it goes without saying that that will be extremely difficult.
Here, we take a look at the starting XI that is likely to feature for Arsenal from the first whistle, in a 4-4-2 setup.
Bernd Leno will most likely be handed his first official start at the Emirates Stadium. The former Bayer Leverkusen man will be tasked with nullifying Manchester City’s prominent attacking unit.
There will be a four-man defense ahead of him that could feature Hector Bellerin at right back. Injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal would mean that Ainsley Maitland-Niles stands a chance to feature at left fullback.
Sokratis too is expected to make a debut for his new club, quite likely next to German defender Shkodran Mustafi in the center of defense.
In the central pairing of a four-man midfielder quadrant, Granit Xhaka is almost certain to start barring any late fitness issues. The Switzerland international will probably play next to Uruguay’s Lucas Torreira who will be another debutante if he features against City in the Arsenal jersey.
Mesut Ozil is pretty much the obvious choice to play at the extreme right side of the flank in Arsenal's starting XI, while Armenia’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is the favorite to occupy the left wing against the defending Premier League champions.
A fantastic attack is something that Arsenal have boasted of since a long while. However, Unai Emery could be the man to get the best out of the players available to him.
Gabonese forward Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is set to be guaranteed one of the two spots up for grabs. Alexandre Lacazette will be the likely beneficiary of the second spot, ahead of Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez.
Is this XI good enough to challenge Manchester City? Only time will tell.