With the English Premier League still in its opening-day matches, Arsenal are quickly given a tough task as they battle defending champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
New Gunners manager Unai Emery will be tested immediately as he faces off against England’s best team and arguably one of the best coaches in football, Pep Guardiola.
Taking over the reins from Arsene Wenger during the summer, Emery is hoping that he can breathe new life in Arsenal and rekindle their flame to compete among the best in the league.
New season, new head coach, new programme design pic.twitter.com/Gmh7ZpyN5f
— Arsenal Programme (@AFCProgramme) August 11, 2018
Many are expecting this to be a great match-up between two big teams, but Arsenal fans are hoping to get maximum points to start off the campaign and get a big win over the champions.
However, the champions are not an easy target as they seemingly continue to get better and with Guardiola leading the way, the Citizens are believed to be gunning for more silverware this year.
Here are a few things that Emery and the Londoners might need to do in order to get a big win at home.
Against a team like City, every moment should be played to perfection. In home games against teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and even Atletico Madrid, the Gunners have shown to make a few mistakes that ultimately cost them the games.
Coming up to face City, these should be avoided as much as possible as their opponents are able to quickly pounce and go on their attack. City are talented all over the pitch that even their defensive players can easily jump-start the offence when Arsenal are seen slacking.
This means that they should always maintain their shape throughout the match, ensuring that there is a defender in front of City’s attackers at all times to avoid being caught off-guard.
Furthermore, the Arsenal midfielders should stamp their presence on the game and control the tempo that best fits the team.
Another thing that Emery and Arsenal should accomplish against City is to be active with or without possession in order to keep at pace with their opponents.
The Gunners should try their best to thrive in this big-game environment and be confident that they can get three points against the champions.
Players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should constantly be a threat and challenge the City defence throughout the game. When he is able to make is presence felt, other players around him should have more space to operate and they can eventually find holes left by City collapsing on the striker.
City displayed their poise and patience en route to a championship last year and are likely to implore the same strategy this campaign, Emery and the Gunners should try their best to disrupt their flow and make sure that they play like they believe they can win.
PLAY ACCORDING TO EMERY’S STYLE
The arrival of Emery signified that Arsenal are also likely to take on a new playing style. Wenger used to be very timid and conservative with how he allows his players to play, but Emery adapts to a more attacking football.
With that in mind, the Gunners should be more aggressive when they have the football, regardless whether they have to start from the back or the middle of the pitch. They should try to constantly push forward and create openings for goals as often as possible.
Against City, this was Liverpool’s strategy and it worked out for Jurgen Klopp’s men as they constantly pressed and counter-attacked when available, leading to a victory over the champions.
Emery should do the same as it may be the best way to get maximum points against a team well-built like City.
Related article: Guardiola expects more from title rivals