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Arsenal vs Manchester City: 3 key battles in Emery’s league debut

12 August 2018

Cech made up for his mistake by making a number of smart saves to deny City, which saw Arsenal fans divert their frustration onto another player: Granit Xhaka.

Maitland-Niles isn't a natural left-back, although was deployed there on various occasions last season, and his right-footedness might help if Guardiola deploys Riyad Mahrez on the right flank, as the Algerian is always attempting to drift inside onto his left.

He said: "We wanted to start here with our supporters".

"In my career, I want leaders in the team".

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"I can not ask them if they are still hungry because they will say "yes boss I am hungry", he said.

Emery faced Pep Guardiola regularly when they were in charge of Valencia and Barcelona respectively. 'But football players today forget the good moments and forget the bad moments. Emery clearly told the players to play out from the back but they didn't look comfortable and gave away possession on numerous occasions. Holidays, start again. Being good in the locker room and our games, and that's all'.

A viewing of last week's Community Shield might have dampened that slightly; City were superb against Chelsea and that was with Kevin De Bruyne, among others, still to return.

Stones and Laporte are two centre-halves committed to bringing the ball out of defence and looking to play passes between the lines, and behind them they have a goalkeeper who could easily play outfield if necessary.

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Guardiola admits it's not part of the job he likes. It hurts a lot. They don't know it, one day one of them will be a manager and realise what we feel, ' he said.

'It is not comfortable but if you want to compete in four competitions we cannot compete with just two good central defenders.

"When you play against a team of City's quality and confidence it is always going to be hard".

New Arsenal boss Unai Emery could start Danny Welbeck at left-back against current champions Manchester City as the Gunners' first choice full-backs Nacho Monreal and Saed Kolasinac are out injured for this afternoon's game.

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Despite that, City are firm favourites to retain their title. His partnership with Lacazette blossomed in the final few games of the last campaign and what was once a rivalry during their time in France now presents the opportunity to fire Arsenal up the league table.