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12 August 2018, 09:17 | Charlene Valdez
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City begin their title defence at Arsenal on Sunday
Michael Cox looks at the tactics, Alan Thompson provides the betting lowdown. Unai Emery's appointment as the new Arsenal manager has sparked quite a lot of debates and discussions - some revelling in his three consecutive UEFA Europa League triumphs with Sevilla while many pointing out his underwhelming stint at Paris Saint-Germain.
Both managers approach on Sunday will be crucial in the outcome of this match. After years of Arsenal largely playing the same way regardless of the opposition, Emery's approach at the Emirates will be somewhat more reactive.
Tactically, it would be more of the same for Manchester City - their fluid transitions and quick executions of intricate passing moves are likely to get more precise.
The former PSG boss threw Matteo Guendouzi straight into the starting XI while Ainsley Maitland-Niles was given the nod to fill the void at left-back.
Just moments later the points were secured as Benjamin Mendy's cut-back was turned home brilliantly by Bernardo, with substitute Kevin De Bruyne's last-gasp strike tipped over the crossbar.
With the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at his disposal, his side should always pose a significant threat to opposing defences. Of course, against centre-backs as composed as John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, and a goalkeeper as confident as Ederson, actually winning possession is somewhat hard.
Whereas last season Guardiola used advanced wingers stretching the play and going in behind, often with more conservative full-backs, here his approach was different.
"I am focused on that, not focused on back-to-back (titles)".
Another starter who might not make the XI is Aaron Ramsey who suffered a calf injury in pre-season. And stopping Manchester City superstar Sergio Aguero could be an ideal way to silence his critics.
Emery has work to do if they are to play a high-pressing game.
"The representation for every player and in every time in the season [there is] the capacity to do that", Emery said. That said though this is still a tricky opener for the Champions.
After 22 long years, Arsene Wenger was asked to step down and a new era dawns at the North London club that sees a frustrated fan base excited about new possibilities but also wary of the time it will take Emery to stamp his authority on the team. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets.
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