Arsenal will begin their season in a blockbuster clash against Manchester City. They will want to make a good start under new manager Unai Emery but will face a tough challenge in the form of the defending champions.
The Gunners have been busy in the transfer window signing the likes of Bernd Leno, Sokratis, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Stephan Lichtsteiner. The gaffer has attempted to solve the defensive and midfield issues and has been successful to some extent, at least on paper.
He has signed a serial winner and an experienced campaigner in Lichtsteiner. Emery has a strong old school defender in the form of Sokratis, who is also a natural leader. Torreira and Guendouzi are promising midfield signings and will add plenty to the Arsenal midfield.
Sead Kolasinac will spend around two months on the sidelines after injuring his left knee. Monreal too is suffering from a recurring knee problem and has just returned to light training. Laurent Koscielny will be out for months after suffering an Achilles injury in May.
Aaron Ramsey has returned to training and is backed to start against City after suffering from a calf injury in pre-season.
Let us discuss Arsenal’s potential line up against Manchester City:
Predicted Arsenal Lineup vs Manchester City (4-3-3)
Bernd Leno will compete with veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech for a starting position in Unai Emery’s side. Summer signing Leno should start, as his distribution has been commendable and the German is calm and composed on the ball which has not always been the case with his fellow teammate.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi will be trusted to start in the centre of defence and will have a huge task defending against one of the best strikers in the league in Sergio Aguero. Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland–Niles are expected to start as the full backs.
Emery could play a 4-3-3 formation trying to match City. New signing Lucas Torreira should be Arsenal’s most important player and will start in a midfield three.
The Uruguayan will provide the steel and defensive bite that the Arsenal midfield has been crying out for. Granit Xhaka should be the deep-lying playmaker and his composure on the ball will be crucial in midfield against a high pressing City side.
Aaron Ramsey will complete the midfield trio and should be the engine of this Arsenal midfield. Ramsey is known for his late attacking surges into the box and will provide balance to the team with his work-rate.
Emery might field both his star strikers Pierre Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette as both have been among the goals in pre-season.
Aubameyang could start on the left and Lacazette up top but the pair will be expected to switch positions according to the requirement.
Ozil will complete the attack starting on the right and he will desperately work towards a positive start after a disastrous summer.
Mkhitaryan might miss out as Emery could well look at increasing the numbers in the midfield.