Arsenal vs Manchester City: 3 key battles in Emery’s league debut


Unai Emery's appointment as the new Arsenal manager has sparked quite a lot of debates and discussions - some revelling in his three consecutive UEFA Europa League triumphs with Sevilla while many pointing out his underwhelming stint at Paris Saint-Germain.

He has had a successful pre-season, with the Arsenal squad enjoying the intensity of his training sessions and enthusiasm of the new Spanish coaching staff.

Initially Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva were the tipped partnership in the centre of midfield, however a prolonged rest for both players means the Portugal worldwide should enter the fray for the Sky Blues' season opener. Arsenal are likely to welcome another debutant, the feisty but creative Lucas Torreira, in their deepest role. Emery had hinted at his choice of the other four during preseason, as Cech, Ramsey, Ozil and Xhaka were all captain for at least one game. Sergio Aguero hit the ground running with a brace in the Community Shield win and will lead the line against Arsenal.

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. And here in England there are many. But what will Emery's first line-up look like?

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Guardiola insists City would be foolish to think they will ease to the title by such a significant margin once again and believes Arsenal will be part of a strong chasing pack over the course of the season. Ederson, meanwhile, has a very long kick he's not afraid to showcase, despite City's focus on possession.

For the first time since September 1996, when Bruce Rioch took charge of a 3-0 win against Sunderland, Arsenal will play a Premier League match without Arsene Wenger in the dugout.

Guardiola, who successfully retained league titles at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, highlighted the virtues of City's rivals including Jose Mourinho's Manchester United ahead of this afternoon's title defence opener at Arsenal. As well, Danny Welbeck has come in this week, but on Sunday it will be too early to start playing him.