Whilst the Championship is now back underway after this past weekend, all eyes are now turning towards the Premier League which kicks off on Friday night. The twenty teams involved in the top flight will get their respective campaigns underway, as everyone attempts to build some momentum ahead of what is sure to be a gruelling 38-game season.
Two such teams are Arsenal and Manchester City, who will have the honour of closing out the first matchday during the 4pm kickoff on Sunday. The Gunners have been preparing for this for around two months now since the fixture list was released, with both teams strengthening their squads ahead of the new season.
As regular fans of the Premier League will know, that 4pm slot tends to be reserved for the biggest game of the weekend – unless it’s positioned on Monday Night Football, of course. There’s no doubting that City vs Arsenal is the biggest game we’ll see this weekend, but instead of it putting pressure on both teams like many have suggested, we believed that it’ll swing the game a little bit more in Arsenal’s favour.
As well as being able to size up how their rivals fare in their own games, Arsenal will be able to build this up to what it should be: a cup final. Fans always tend to joke about how some teams consider games against certain other teams to be their cup final in a league format, but when you really think about it, sometimes, that’s warranted.
Manchester City were unbelievably dominant last season and that’s not exactly a secret, so building this game up to the point where it’s considered to be the most important thing in the lives of every Arsenal player isn’t a bad thing. City aren’t going to expect Arsenal to come straight at them, and they’ll probably think that they can pass the ball around from side to side before really getting into their rhythm late in the game. Arsenal need to present a strong front defensively before hitting them on the counter-attack, in order to really get the energy flowing.
Some may feel like the 4pm Sunday game adds an extra layer of pressure, but we completely disagree. If anything the pressure is on City, with many wondering whether or not they can continue their dominance this year.
Are you happy that Arsenal/City will be a 4pm kickoff?