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Emery: Arsenal players should deliver against Man City

12 August 2018

Whereas other sides are struggling to find 11 fit players because of injuries and World Cup hangovers, Arsenal seem in decent shape for the new campaign.

Southampton just avoided relegation at the end of last season and finished in seventeenth, just three points above the drop zone.

Emery has European pedigree in that competition though and that could remain their best chance of getting back into the Champions League.

However, if Emery can sort out Arsenal's defensive problems then they could be a force to be reckoned with, such is the quality they possess in attacking positions.

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Benjamin Mendy's return date is not yet known as he builds up his match fitness.

Sergio Aguero is already among the goals whilst Leroy Sane is fresh after surprisingly not being included in Germany's World Cup squad. Moreover, the club-record signing of Riyad Mahrez for £60m now gives the manager even more options to choose from and further increases the gap between themselves and the fighting pack for the title. Those that know him say Emery watches 12 hours of video for each game, and you can expect the Arsenal players to watch a good few hours too preparing for this match. 'It hurts when you cannot let some of them play. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva are not expected to be up to speed yet but City still looked a class apart without them when they beat Chelsea in the Community Shield last weekend. A lot will depend on his performance against Aubameyang if the defending champions are to kickstart their campaign with a win on Sunday.

Aaron Ramsey looks like a definite starter as part of the midfield two, and the Arsenal boss will make a late decision on his partner.

"We are working very hard in time for Sunday to show our capacity and our mentality and I want to win this match because it is important for us and the players to take confidence", he said.

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This match will start at 13.30 today. The major issue is at left-back, where Sead Kolasinac is definitely out and Nacho Monreal is considered doubtful, which may mean Ainsley Maitland-Niles starting.

Arsenal are also without long-term casualty Laurent Koscielny, while England global Danny Welbeck also misses out.

With Laurent Koscielny out for the foreseeable future, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is likely to make his Arsenal debut alongside Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of the defence.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that he will take the season game by game rather than focusing on retaining the Premier League title.

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Emery: Arsenal players should deliver against Man City