It's an incredibly hard start for Unai Emery as the Gunners new chapter starts against a team tipped for more superiority after their exploits last season.
Their opponents for Sunday, Manchester City, splurged only on Riyad Mahrez - an able option to back-up the tactically intelligent, yet much-maligned Raheem Sterling but Pep Guardiola already has a system in place with nearly the entirety of his squad well-versed in his preferred style of play. They won just once on the road in the league after the turn of the year and they were knocked out of the Europa League in the semi-finals.
The gunners don't have many options so Unai Emery will likely start him against Manchester City today.
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Manager Pep Guardiola will have Benjamin Mendy available for selection after the full-back missed a large portion of last season with an injury.
'There is Chelsea with Jorginho, Kovacic and Kante in the middle, and Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Morata up front, so you cannot say they are not contenders.
Deployed as a lone striker this season, his hunt for goals begins against Premier League champions Manchester City at the Emirates.
"The important thing is to be there and to be ourselves". That's the basic principle, ' he urged. And stopping Manchester City superstar Sergio Aguero could be an ideal way to silence his critics. They embarrassed us badly a few times last season and they themselves will be feeling very confident as they begin the defence of their title. If he does start, Manchester City must be licking their lips with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling both looking to target the stand-in full-back.
'We talked to some of them about how it was, ' revealed Guardiola.
Mertesacker retired from playing at the end of the campaign, assuming the role of Arsenal's academy manager.