ARSENAL host Manchester City in their first Premier League game of the season – how will they line up?
Arsenal team news: Petr Cech is set to start against Man City (Image: Getty Images)
Petr Cech looks set to start for Arsenal as they host Manchester City on the opening weekend of the 2018/19 Premier League season.
The veteran stopper’s position has come under threat following the signing of Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, but appears to have won the initial battle.
Cech experienced a mixed season in 2017/18 and Unai Emery splashed almost £19million on German keeper Leno to provide stern competition.
Two summer signings will line up for the Gunners at the Emirates in the first Premier League encounter of the post-Wenger era.
Lucas Torreira was given an extended holiday due to Uruguay’s involvement in the 2018 World Cup, but he has had time to train with his Arsenal team-mates ahead of the new season and is likely to start.
The former Sampdoria star is expected to slot into the midfield alongside Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in a 4-3-3 formation.
Fellow new boy Sokratis Papastathopoulos will also start, in place of the injured Lauren Koscielny, with defensive partner Shkodran Mustafi.
The experienced former Dortmund ace will be flanked by youth with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Hector Bellerin in the full-back slots.
Arsenal team news: Bernd Leno may be forced to wait for his chance on the bench (Image: Getty Images)
Arsenal team news: Lucas Torreira will make his debut (Image: Getty Images)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could start in a wider position among the front three with Alexandre Lacazette set to lead the line.
Both strikers raked in a combined 12 goals during Arsenal’s pre-season campaign and Emery will be keen to keep the momentum flowing.
Aubameyang enjoyed a prolific half-season in north London, and fans will be hoping that a fruitful pre-season could lead to a huge season from the Gabonese star.
Mesut Ozil will round off the line-up, though Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to make his fair share of appearances throughout the season.
Arsenal team news: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could play out wide (Image: Getty Images)
Arsenal team news: Is this how the Gunners will line up against Man City? (Image: buildlineup.com)
Injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal are the only concerns for the Gunners ahead of their opening game.
Emery faces a tricky task in taking over the reins from Wenger, made even more difficult in the short-term with reigning champions City first on the fixture list.
Predicted Arsenal XI to face Manchester City:
(4-3-3) Petr Cech; Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Ainsley Maitland-Niles; Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey; Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.