English Premier League Report: Arsenal v Manchester City 12 August 2018

Liverpool

Liverpool

For Emery, an opening game against the Premier League champions is a daunting task. Michael Cox looks at the tactics, Alan Thompson provides the betting lowdown.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that Alex Iwobi is not amongst the three players that could still leave the club before the close of the transfer window in Europe this month. Emery has faced a Guardiola side 10 times and never won. Although Emery failed to record a victory against Guardiola during that four-year period, his tactical approach often caused serious problems in the first halves of matches. But what will Emery's first line-up look like?

That Arsenal's performance was somewhat disjointed shouldn't detract from City's display.

Both of Arsenal's first team left backs won't be available for the match against Manchester City so Ainsley Maitland-Niles will likely start today. "But we are starting a new way, and a new process", he said.

Considering a 4-2-3-1 formation, Emery is set to go with a central defensive partnership of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi. The fact that Kevin De Bruyne was only fit enough to be a substitute would appear to have confirmed that.

Instead, Emery must focus on getting the best out of Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who made a fine start with Arsenal following his January move from Dortmund, while also finding a way to dovetail the creative talents of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Benjamin Mendy, a World Cup victor with France will look to keep injuries away as he looks to get a string of games under his belt. City's left-back missed nearly the entirety of last season through injury, and his overlapping will bring an extra dimension to City's attacking play. Petr Cech was in no way an immovable object - stationary as Sterling belted City into their lead before spilling a free-kick to Aymeric Laporte and only just recovering to reprieve himself.

"I am focused on that, not focused on back-to-back (titles)".

The biggest concern for the Arsenal boss was Aaron Ramsey's involvement in the game, owing to the Welshman's recent absence due to a calf injury. But.

Emery grimaced, frowned, chewed his teeth, chewed his nails, though even as City dished out a serious football lesson, there was something unmistakably different about Arsenal.

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