Emery names Koscielny Arsenal captain

Aaron Ramsey

Even the most optimistic of Arsenal supporters will not be expecting a surprise victory in their Premier League opener, but Emery, winless in his ten personal battles with Guardiola so far, could very well serve up a dollop of inspiration against the rhapsodical juggernaut that Manchester City promises to be. Michael Cox looks at the tactics, Alan Thompson provides the betting lowdown. He could still make manager Unai Emery's 18-man squad, but it will be a late decision on his fitness.

The last two matches between the Gunners and the Citizens have ended in a six-goal aggregate win for Guardiola's City. So it proved. For all the undeniable optimism around the Emirates before kickoff, the first 45 minutes demonstrated that Arsenal have plenty of room for improvement under new boss Emery.

Emery added that he wants each of his players, regardless of their positions on the pitch to adopt a holistic approach to the games they play.

Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ainsley Maitland Niles are options but Emery might have a rather unbelievable plan up his sleeve - playing Danny Welbeck at left-back. "But we are starting a new way, and a new process", he said.

With Laurent Koscielny out for the foreseeable future, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is likely to make his Arsenal debut alongside Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of the defence. Lucas Torreira moved to Arsenal from Sampdoria in a 26.4 m deal and will be entrusted with the role of marking David Silva. Thus, he is definitely a huge threat for the Manchester City defence, likely to be led by English global John Stones. Riyad Mahrez took the resulting free-kick and forced a save from Cech low down to his right, before the Arsenal stopper reacted quickly to deny Aymeric Laporte's close-range follow up with an instinctive stop. Arsenal were given a hiding in this fixture a few months back, losing 3-0 on an absolutely freezing night in front of a paltry crowd that pretty much summed up where they were back then. Ederson, meanwhile, has a very long kick he's not afraid to showcase, despite City's focus on possession.

Pre-season training has included intense double sessions and players can brace themselves for the hairdryer treatment if they do not reach the high standards set by the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla manager. I can't back City at odds-on, so I'll go for Draw / Man City in the Half Time / Full Time market at [5.8].

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Petr Cech of Arsenal looks dejected after conceding Manchester City's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on August 12, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery with his players during the International Champions Cup.

The clash could see the marquee signings from both sides feature for their respective teams. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets.

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