Monday, 20 August, 2018

Mesut Ozil named Arsenal co-captain by boss Unai Emery

Liverpool GETTY Liverpool have signed well and will be hoping to push Man City all the way
Lora Ball | 12 August, 2018, 18:41

Arsenal have fallen so far behind their top-four rivals that, at present, it is unthinkable Emery could ever match his predecessor's haul of three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.

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

Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes playing Man City on the opening day of the season is a great time to face them.

"Or Manchester United. People don't know how good they will be this season, but I know the manager a little bit and I know in that situation how good they will handle it".

In steps Unai Emery, the Spanish manager who recently led French giants Paris Saint-Germain, attempting to fill some pretty big shoes at the Emirates.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starts up front, with Alexandre Lacazette among the subs.

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It might be a while before the Emery revolution bears fruit, but his attention to detail and desire for a high-tempo pressing game should make Arsenal a tougher unit than Wenger's skillful but spineless group. Forget the World Cup and everything else, it's a new challenge. Although they have only managed 2 wins in their last 12 meetings with the reigning champions.

Arsenal's main concern going into the weekend will be the fitness of Aaron Ramsey.

"Then, the contract is for speaking with the club and the players". With Sead Kolasinac's knee injury keeping him out of action for the next two months, Nacho Monreal is the natural replacement for the Bosnian.

Other absentees include Laurent Koscielny who is still nursing a long-term Achilles injury whilst Danny Welbeck is unlikely to be in the squad due to a lack of match fitness. Arsenal is a good opponent to manage a win as Manchester City have been proved powerful in their recent clashes.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, recruited from Borussia Dortmund, should be partnered by Shkodran Mustafi in central defence while Hector Bellerin will get the nod at right-back.

If he does start, Manchester City must be licking their lips with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling both looking to target the stand-in full-back.

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