Guardiola Confirms Major Double Fitness Boost Ahead Of Arsenal

Kevin de Bruyne did not feature for Manchester City in pre-season friendlies

Kevin de Bruyne did not feature for Manchester City in pre-season friendlies

That would mean leaving out one of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette - with the Frenchman seemingly the most likely to get the chop.

The 29-year-old, who signed for the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund at the end of the January transfer window for a club record £56 million, will be well-rested as the top flight gets underway in North London, after his global side Gabon did not qualify for the World Cup.

Pep Guardiola has warned his players not to expect another title procession as Manchester City begin their attempt to become the first back-to-back Premier League champions for a decade. City set the bar dauntingly high last season, but Guardiola's abilities are such that it won't surprise anyone if they manage to usurp their own records this season.

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. Those that know him say Emery watches 12 hours of video for each game, and you can expect the Arsenal players to watch a good few hours too preparing for this match.

It will be first time both Spaniards will face each other in the Premier League, after going head-to-head several times in LaLiga.

Arsenal have turned to Unai Emery to replace Wenger at the north London side following the Frenchman's 22 seasons in charge.

"I have a lot of respect for his career, starting from the bottom and making an excellent career, winning titles and making his teams hard".

"That's the basic principle".

"Most people recognised that our defence was poor last season, we conceded a ridiculous number of goals around 50 or something, which Arsenal hadn't done in maybe 15 years." he told Fox Sports.

Guardiola held some one-to-one meetings with his players after the World Cup to check they were ready to go again.

"Forget about Liverpool's spending, because of course they have spent a lot, but last season they were a top team as well".

David Silva could be a question mark for Sunday's fixture as well. Arsenal are other contenders too. And underdogs they will be against Pep Guardiola's side.

"Keeping a lot of the good ideas they were working here and also bringing a new time to improve in the tactical things under my idea to transmit the players my spirit and in this way the energy in the moment we need that".

It's an incredibly hard start for Unai Emery as the Gunners new chapter starts against a team tipped for more superiority after their exploits last season.

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