One week from now, Arsenal play the first match of their new Premier League season, against last season’s champions Manchester City.
The first match at the Emirates Stadium under new management promises to be an exciting one, with the tie of the opening weekend pitting Unai Emery against fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola.
There’s also the subplot of Mikel Arteta returning to face his former club after being passed over for the manager position himself. The 36-year-old was Sky Sports‘ favourite for the job at one stage, and he’ll be keen to prove Arsenal wrong for choosing Emery instead.
Let’s look at how both teams are doing so far in their preparations for the new season:
Arsenal didn’t lose a game in 90 minutes throughout pre-season, only falling to defeat through penalties against Atletico Madrid. Excluding behind closed doors games, that the public know little about, the Gunners won matches against Boreham Wood, PSG, Chelsea and Lazio, and lost that one against Atletico.
With 17 goals scored and just three conceded, Arsenal should have built up a lot of confidence in the last few weeks, as well as gaining the fitness required for the physically demanding Premier League.
City’s preparations haven’t been quite so busy, with just three friendlies and the Community Shield. It’s been a mixed bag for them so far, with initial defeats against Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool followed up by a nice comeback win against Bayern Munich, and a dominant victory over Chelsea at Wembley.
The visitors are currently the bookies’ favourites for the Arsenal tie, but it’s closer than you might expect after last season. Click here if you’re looking for more Arsenal vs Man City betting odds.
We reported previously on the possibility of Riyad Mahrez missing out on the tie, but he shook off that knock to return to full fitness without any trouble. Danilo and Eliaquim Mangala aren’t so lucky, and they’ll both miss the trip to North London.
Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny are also certain to miss the game with long-term injuries. Sead received the unfortunate news that he’ll miss the next couple of months of football after his injury against Chelsea.
Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal face late tests after picking up knocks this week.
The likes of City’s Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne and John Stones all made late returns from the World Cup, so they’re unlikely to be involved from the start. The same goes for Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck.