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

Sterling is available for selection for City’s Premier League opener against Arsenal this weekend. — Reuters pic

Arsenal's pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took up most of the January transfer window, with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat taking the Gunners' delegation to Dortmund, where he led negotiations with the club he had departed only two months previously.

The 29-year-old, who signed for the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund at the end of the January transfer window for a club record £56 million, will be well-rested as the top flight gets underway in North London, after his global side Gabon did not qualify for the World Cup.

Arsenal kick off their Premier League season with a clash against Manchester City at The Emirates on Sunday.

Both Clubs have been through great change since then of course, most recently when Wenger's 22-year reign came to end at the end of the last campaign, with new boss Unai Emery providing Pep Guardiola and City with a fresh challenge first up in the Premier League.

City broke several records last season, most points, most goals scored, biggest title-winning margin but it will be more hard for them this season.

"For nine years, every season, I have lived with this situation and it's no problem", he said.

I fancy Arsenal to make a fast start, but for City to eventually overcome them.

Despite last Sunday's competition being of secondary status Guardiola spoke to his side beforehand of the need to win it - something no Premier League champion team had managed since 2013.

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.

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. City, however, is the favorite to win this one after winning the league last season.

Whereas other sides are struggling to find 11 fit players because of injuries and World Cup hangovers, Arsenal seem in decent shape for the new campaign. The Welshman has returned to training.

And finally, with it still being summer and the thwack of leather on willow still to be heard on village greens around the country, let's have a few City-related predictions from former Yorkshire and England quick-turned pundit Darren Gough. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are options there, as Emery will want the second midfielder to be the anchorman for the team.

"Our target is: try to win as much as we can and in April and May, we will see (the outcome)".

Midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are back in contention for City.

Get the latest World Cup news updates.

It's a good looking delivery that from Gough. and that's stumps for Sunday's media round-up!

"We will have bad moments and we will have to work to overcome them because in the end the players react to what the club is, what the manager and the staff are".



Other news