Arsenal will start life after Arsene Wenger when they host Manchester City on Sunday in the opening round of the new Premier League season.
The Gunners would have surely wanted an easier opponent in their first match since 1996 without the legendary French manager, but they have been dealt the worse hand by having to host reigning champions Man City at the Emirates. Arsenal had a busy summer in the transfer window, bringing in quite a few players like Leno, Sokratis, Torreira or Lichtsteiner, while also parting ways with some of their long standing players (Wilshere, Cazorla or Mertesacker). Results in friendlies have been solid for Unai Emery’s side, but that is never a real indicative of anything.
Manchester City already played an official match this season, defeating Chelsea 2-0 in the Community Shield last weekend. It was a pretty dominant performance from Man City, as Guardiola’s side didn`t seem to lose any steam compared to last season – when they obliterated all competition in the Premier League. The Citizens made just one big time transfer this Summer, Ryiad Mahrez, who should complement their collection of stars very well.Bet on Arsenal vs Man City and claim your 100% (100 Eur) freebet at Ohmbet now!
Team news & lineups:
Arsenal will miss Kolasinac and Monreal is doubtful, so there are some problems at the left back position. Ramsey is also doubtful. Manchester City will be without Mangala and Danilo, while Silva, De Bruyne and Sterling are doubtful after just returning from their post World Cup vacation.
Arsenal: Leno – Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal – Xhaka, Torreira – Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang – Lacazette
Manchester City: Ederson – Walker, Laporte, Stones, Mendy – Fernandinho – Mahrez, De Bruyne, B. Silva, Sane – Aguero
Arsenal fans have great expectations after Wenger`s 22 year old reign finally came to an end, but they might be in for a tougher season than they are hoping for. While Wenger has been highly criticized in recent years, it might soon be proved that the average results had more to do with the players than with the manager.
This is pretty much the same old Arsenal team with the same often overrated players (Bellerin, Mustafi, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ozil or Lacazette come to mind). The new transfers look decent on paper, but neither of them is quite a game changer. Most of Arsenal’s players could just as well play for the likes of West Ham or Leicester, with the exception of Aubameyang and maybe Ozil (but just because of his name).
As such, it might be unreasonable to expect from Arsenal more than they showed in recent years. In fact, chances are they will struggle at least in the beginning of the season, as it will be extremely difficult for them to find a new identity and for Emery to implement his ideas after Wenger just ended a 22 year old tenure. Recent history supports this idea, in reference of course to Manchester United’s issues after Ferguson left.
It`s also worth noting that Unai Emery has never beaten Guardiola in 10 direct meetings (4 draws, 6 losses), although it`s true that Guardiola always had the better team. But that will also be true today.
With Manchester City having all the talent in the world and looking just as good as they did last season in last week`s SuperCup clash with Chelsea, it might be smart to trust the visitors here.
My tip will be Manchester City to cover the -0,25 asian handicap. I find the odds on this bet to be very solid considering we also get a bit of security in case of a draw (half the stakes returned). Prediction: Arsenal – Manchester City 0-2.
Pick: Man City (-0,25 Asian Handicap)
Odds: 1.65 @ Sbobet
Possible profit: 5.20
Event date: 12 August