The post-Wenger era for Arsenal starts in style as Unai Emery takes charge of his first premier League game against champions Manchester City at the Emirates.
It’s the dawning of a new era at Arsenal as Unai Emery leads his new side into battle for the first time against a Manchester City side who could be about to dominate an era of their own.
Emery has a baptism of fire in his Premier League debut, but he could also see it as a free hit considering the calibre of team that he’ll line up against at the Emirates.
Arsenal have started their season at home for the last six years and they’re usually entertaining encounters – the last two have ended in 4-3 thrillers.
City walked away with the Premier League title last season and are odds-on to lift the trophy once again in May – not that Emery needs informing of the size of his task.
Arsenal v Man City betting (Sky Bet odds)
- 3/1 - Arsenal to win
- 5/1 - Aubameyang & Aguero both to score
- 14/1 - Mahrez to score from outside the box
- 20/1 - Stones to score a header
"After two years with Guardiola, they have more stability and security," said Emery on City. "When you watch their matches, they play with great confidence in themselves and also I think Guardiola's coaching is clear in this team.
"I am 46, he is 47. He started his career as a bigger player than me. His career as a coach is bigger than me.
"Our style with the ball is to be protagonists, to do things with combinations, to control the match with the positioning of the ball. And then when we have the space, to be aggressive going forward.
"We need two things: quality players, which we have, and then organisation. Together I think we can improve, to win in our way. I repeat: organised, then play."
Pep primed for title defence
Pep Guardiola is never one to rest on his laurels, adding the club-record signing of Riyad Mahrez to his star-studded squad over the summer.
Guardiola has already spoken about City needing to regain that desire and hunger to win – and he’s shown throughout his coaching career that he demands every last ounce out of his players in every game.
On his opposite number, Guardiola was glowing in his praise, saying: “He is an excellent manager. What he achieved - three Europa Leagues in a row - is excellent. He is a good manager and it is good for the Premier League.
"Our target is: try to win as much as we can and in April and May, we will see. If we are good and consistent like last season, we have a good chance.
"Doing the same as we have done will not be enough."
Arsenal v Manchester City team news
Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are in line for Arsenal debuts while Aaron Ramsey is back in training after a calf injury and could feature.
Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny are both out long term and Nacho Monreal is doubtful with a knee injury.
The Gunners should have plenty of goals in their ranks with Sporting Life’s Golden Boot tip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lining up with Alexandre Lacazette, but they may need goals to keep pace with City.
Mahrez is set to play his first Premier League game for the champions while Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are available after returning to training from their World Cup breaks this week.
Sergio Aguero looked in electric form in the Community Shield, as did Bernardo Silva who may continue in midfield with David Silva still out injured.