Manchester City travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon to face Arsenal in their first game of the new Premier League season. City are defending champions and are the bookies’ favourites to come out on top this weekend and retain the league title come May, whereas Arsenal’s expectations are to finish in the top-four and bring Champions League football back next season.
Last season, City thrashed the Gunners 3-0 at the Emirates, days after beating them 3-0 in the League Cup final. They won 3-0 at home months previously too, so they’ll be fancied for a repeat. However, it will be a new and improved Arsenal they’re coming up against, with new manager Unai Emery having recruited well to strengthen the weak areas of the squad over the summer. Arsenal will be a tough opponent on Sunday.
City tails up after Community Shield victory
The Sky Blues are coming off the back of a 2-0 win over Chelsea in the final of the Community Shield which will have done wonders for their confidence. City have added only one player to a squad which has differing levels of fitness due to the number of individuals who were at the 2018 World Cup in Russia over the summer – Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City.
Despite having a difficult juggling act to select a fully-fit side in the Community Shield, manager Pep Guardiola got the new season off to winners ways with yet more silverware against an opponent who could be challenging for the Premier League title this season. City played well and looked convincing winners, so they may have a minor edge over Arsenal who have failed to win two of their last three friendlies in 90 minutes.
Head-to-head record hints at a City victory to come
Manchester City have beaten Arsenal and scored three goals in each of their last three meetings in all competitions, losing only once since December 2015. City have been consistent against the Gunners, but playing at the Emirates might be an important factor.
Arsenal have only lost once at home to City in any competition since 2013 – they don’t often come unstuck in their own soil.
As for the manager head-to-heads, however, Guardiola has been dominant when coming up against Emery. In their last 10 meetings, Pep has won six and drawn four, losing none. It’s worth noting that each meeting is in La Liga when Guardiola was manager of Barcelona and Emery of Valencia.
Can he break the winless run on Sunday? Or will City reign supreme in this fixture once more?