Emery Expects Tough Arsenal, City Premier League Debut

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The Premier League kicks off this evening but for Arsenal, the big match takes place on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola's team are fancied once more, and who'd put it past them to be lifting the title again in May.

Gunners defender Hector Bellerin has been speaking about what the new boss could bring, telling Arsenal.com: "We've seen he wants us to be a team that, first of all, don't concede goals".

"We have different styles, but I think they're styles that complement each other - he's a very good player and a very kind person", he said. Alexandre Lacazette will start for Arsenal as their central striker.

There is, however, some good news as Aaron Ramsey has been ruled fit to return to training ahead of the clash.

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

However, the former Monaco title-winner has shown his impressive progress in preseason and if he performs well against Arsenal, perhaps Guardiola will be given something to ponder over. "Every season we are the favourites".

He featured prominently for Spain at the World Cup this summer, but failed to exert his influence during the tournament.

Thus, the 29-year-old will have a point to prove when he makes his Premier League debut on Sunday.

Guardiola has said losing is his greatest fear and says his players must be motivated by how they got over the line in spectacular fashion last season.

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Alongside him is the sort of player Arsenal have needed for a while, with Uruguay World Cup ace Lucas Torreira arriving to compete in a combative role for the Gunners and providing extra protection to a defence that was far too frail last season.

A little less than a decade ago, when Sheikh Mansour had staked claim to the ownership of Manchester City, the Premier League fortunes of both these clubs were in stark contrast - Arsene Wenger's star power had only begun to dim, but Arsenal still hadn't succumbed to the rut of mediocrity; Manchester City were a mid-table club at best. He was due to play against Chelsea in the club's penultimate pre-season friendly match but was injured in the warm-up. But, owing to match fitness and sharpness, Maitland-Niles could well start. Mendy is expected to start against the Gunners.

Sead Kolasinac is set for an extended spell on the sidelines while Nacho Montreal only returned to training earlier this week following an injury.

Bernd Leno is expected to be preferred in goal to Petr Cech, with Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis the centre-back pairing.

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