Premier League preview: Arsenal vs Manchester City Odds – Emirates Stadium – August 12, 2018 – 16:00 hrs
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For Unai Emery, the former PSG coach who took over reins from Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, Sunday's Premier League opener with Manchester City will be a baptism by fire. With no significant acquisitions this season, Emery will have to depend on the pricey signings of last season, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to get him goals.
A rich mid-field consisting of names likes Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey that failed to click in the 2017-18 season will be expected to deliver under the new management this time around.
The back-line of Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, ShkodranMustafi and an erratic Peter Cech between the posts, that was the Gunners' Achilles Heel last season, could find some succour from the advent of 34-year old Swiss international defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, brought over from Juventus for free. But expect them to come under immense pressure from an unrelenting Man City attack.
The problem with the Gunners is that if Lacazette and Aubameyang fail to fire, they hardly have any striking talent on the bench. Danny Welbeck, Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi are not the kind that would create panic among defenses in any way.
Pep Guardiola seems to have no such problems, crushing Chelsea in the Community Shield 2-0 last Sunday even without the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus around. While it would be interesting to see if Guardiola gives precedence to Jesus over the in-form striker Sergio Aguero (scorer of both goals against Chelsea) as he did in the 2017-18 season, the defense on the other hand will look more solid with the return of the injury-free Vincent Kompany who did such stellar work for Belgium at the WC Russia 2018.
Besides Kompany, Kyle Walker, Jon Stones, Danilo and Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will form a formidable defensive line that will take some doing on the part of the Gunners to break down.
The Emirates, considered a fortress for Arsenal, came under siege from Manchester United and City late last season with humiliating losses of 1-3 and 0-3 being meted out to the hosts. For a side with the attacking quality of Manchester City, Arsenal's home factor could count for little as was proved last time.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Pep Guardiola's men should begin the Premier League season with a win away at the Emirates. For the Gunners, a draw will be considered an achievement of sorts.
Arsenal's current form, though, has been impressive, losing just one of their last five friendlies to Atletico Madrid in a tie-breaker. There were impressive wins of 2-0 and 5-1 over Lazio and Paris St. Germain respectively in July. By comparison, City have stuttered with losses to Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool in the 2018 International Champions Cup in July, but striking form with a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich right on the heels of those two defeats and the Community Shield win last weekend to boot.
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Arsenal vs Manchester City Odds
Arsenal vs Manchester City Best Odds correct as of 10/08/2018 – subject to change.