Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Arsenal manager Unai Emery expects tough debut against defending champions Manchester City

Unai Emery has brought five new stars to the Emirates Unai Emery has brought five new stars to the Emirates
Cary Erickson | 12 August, 2018, 13:27

During the club's pre-season he has also notched four goals, weighing in with three assists, as Emery's side gear up to host Premier League champions Manchester City at the Emirates on Sunday.

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.

Finishing 37 points behind City was a fitting ending for the dispiriting final season of the Wenger era - a torrid campaign played out to a soundtrack of angry protests against the manager from frustrated fans.

Another problem area is the left-back slot.

City impressed in last weekend's 2-0 Community Shield victory against Chelsea and could welcome back Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling from that group after they were given extra time off following Russian Federation. Because of that, Ainsley Maitland-Niles will play in a more unfamiliar role having done the same against Lazio.

"Today, Nacho Monreal began to train with the team". As well, Danny Welbeck has come in this week, but on Sunday it will be too early to start playing him.

"Now, when I say something to the players, they know exactly what we have to do". We want to give him confidence.

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"My main thing is to start the Premier League, the cup, the Europa League and then my objective is to improve each player with their qualities and our work with them".

He has returned to training this week but it's unclear as to whether he'll start the match or be among the substitutes.

New Arsenal goalkeeper, Bernd Leno could get the nod over Petr Cech for Arsenal's opener against Manchester City.

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.

On the right, Hector Bellerin remains first choice despite signing veteran Switzerland worldwide Stephan Lichtstiner and that could actually work in the favour of the Spain ace, as he will have competition in his position to push him on. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are options there, as Emery will want the second midfielder to be the anchorman for the team.

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.

The Argentine global is expected to be given the nod ahead of Gabriel Jesus but it will be interesting to see how the quick-footed striker manages to evade the robust Sokratis in the Arsenal backline.