On Sunday afternoon, Arsenal begins a new era, as new boss Unai Emery takes charge of his first competitive game as Gunners boss. The Spaniard could not have asked for a tougher challenge for his first game, as Manchester City visit the Emirates Stadium.
There is a new positive atmosphere at the north London club. The signings of Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi have improved the Gunners squad.
The Gunners finished sixth-place last season in the Premier League, having endured an inconsistent league campaign. Their final six games of the last season’s campaign summed-up their season, as they won three and lost three of their final six games.
However, the home side’s league form at the Emirates Stadium was strong last season. The team from north London recorded league wins in their last five league games on home soil, while also scoring at least two goals in each game.
Manchester City were in a different league to every other team in the top-flight last season, cruising to the Premier League title, while breaking numerous records in the process.
Pep Guardiola’s side won five of their last six games of the campaign to finish the season in style. The Citizens also scored at least twice in seven of their last nine top-flight games.
Just like their form in general for most of last season, City’s form on their travels was good, especially towards the end of the campaign when the Citizens when Guardiola’s side recorded six consecutive away victories. The visitors were prolific in those games on their travels, scoring at least twice in five of their six victories.
Arsenal are without the versatile Sead Kolasinac for this tough season opener, while Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey is a doubt. Spanish international Nacho Monreal is still recovering from the World Cup. New signings Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Bernd Leno could all make their competitive debuts for the Gunners.
City are without Danilo due to injury, while David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are likely to miss out having only just returned to training following the World Cup. New signing Riyad Mahrez is likely to make his Premier League debut for the Citizens.
Manchester City are favourites to win this game at odds of 19/20, while the draw is odds of 14/5 and Arsenal are odds of 3/1.
Unai Emery has a baptism of fire on his Arsenal debut, but the Gunners will always have a chance at the Emirates Stadium.
Can Arsenal kick-off the new season with a victory?