Unai Emery names five Arsenal captains

Neil Humphreys Pep sets the standards

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are aiming to be the first team to retain the English Premier League in the last decade

Michael Cox looks at the tactics, Alan Thompson provides the betting lowdown.

Unai Emery has warned Pep Guardiola he is finally ready to beat him.

He faces a Guardiola who is now fully into the swing of things at Manchester City and had an unparalleled domestic campaign previous year where City racked up 100 points.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have fallen so much behind their rivals that Emery needs to help the London club re-discover its identity.

But Emery has instead opted for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to fill in, with Sokratis partnering Shkodran Mustafi in the heart of the Arsenal defence, while Petr Cech gets the gloves rather than new signing Bernd Leno.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles came on for Kolasinac after he was hurt in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Chelsea on August 1 and Emery said following the match he would not rule out using the 20-year-old against City.

Guardiola said: People say we now have to forget what we did last season. Hector Bellerin, meanwhile, will need all his speed against Leroy Sane.

At 26 years old, the signing of Leno provides top quality competition for the ageing Cech in goal, while Emiliano Martinez's return from a loan spell with Getafe means that he'll nearly certainly be third choice.

Initially Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva were the tipped partnership in the centre of midfield, however a prolonged rest for both players means the Portugal worldwide should enter the fray for the Sky Blues' season opener.

Aaron Ramsey was praised by Emery when he first arrived, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be hoping to settle into a rhythm, and Mesut Ozil is under pressure to produce consistently.

Emery is likely to set his side up not to lose. City's left-back missed nearly the entirety of last season through injury, and his overlapping will bring an extra dimension to City's attacking play. There's the promise of a more diligent, alert, tactically-astute brand of football with a higher press - and what better petri dish than a match against the runaway champions, a team that pounces on your weaknesses, insecurities and callowness more ruthlessly than anyone since. well. the Arsenal of 2000-2004. And here in England there are many.

Crucial to this game's outcome is how Emery approaches his first game.

Will Bernardo Silva become a Manchester City regular this season? Ederson, meanwhile, has a very long kick he's not afraid to showcase, despite City's focus on possession. I can't back City at odds-on, so I'll go for Draw / Man City in the Half Time / Full Time market at [5.8].

With the way that City attacked last season, this could turn into a disaster for Unai Emery, who is taking charge of his first competitive game since taking over from legendary Arsenal gaffer, Arsene Wenger. The 2-0 loss actually flattered Chelsea; it could have been by a margin of at least five goals.

Rather than ask his players to eradicate that glory from their minds, as Bill Shankly and Sir Alex Ferguson might have done in order to start again, Guardiola is demanding they remember what made them such sparkling winners.

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