The Premier League has finally returned to life on Wednesday, as the football world tries to put things back on track after a break of three months caused by a coronavirus.
The first on the menu is Aston Villa against Sheffield United, but it is time for a real crackerjack of a fight – while the reigning champions of the Premier League as Manchester City host intriguing and young Arsenal Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners are in desperate need of points to have a chance to get european football for next season, and head to the Etihad in a form that is relatively decent – although for the past three months. In a match presented as a teacher against a student (Guardiola vs Arteta), here’s how visitors can line up.
Bernd Leno (GK) – Arsenal has had the best numbers 1 that Leno over the years – David Seaman and Jens Lehmann, for example – but they also had a lot of things not up to German standards. Striker freestyle, it ranks as 11th in the Premier League this season in terms of clean sheets – a record he will want to improve.
Héctor Bellerín (RB) – Born in the academy of Barcelona but cast in the Arsenal, Bellerín is a popular figure in north London. Has suffered from injuries, but is one of the best in the division on their day. This would be a surprise if it does not start.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – Pablo Marí can feel a little unlucky here, but the loan signing of the winter may be to look at the Mustafi the more experienced start in his place. Arteta may think that the German is more reliable – given his experience in the Premier League – despite a series of criticism in the past 28 years.
David Luiz (CB) – The veteran brazilian has returned to the kind of libero role as Franco Baresi played for Milan and his teammate Lúcio adopted at the Inter more recently. Yes, Luiz is prone to errors silly, but his range of passing could be vital if Arsenal were to mount quick counter attacks.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Arsenal haven’t seen anything yet of the best of Tierney, who is the second best left back in Scotland. Rest assured, however, it is far better than what the description suggests, with injuries limiting it to just five appearances so far.
Dani Ceballos (CM) – Middle offensive trades, Ceballos has shown a lot of abilities in a role of leader of the game in depth. Will be a lot of defending to do.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – A player under-estimated by many, the former captain of Arsenal has endured a season quite miserable. Is tenacious in the tackle and a competitor fierce, traits that are essential when you try to keep City at a distance.
Mesut Özil (CM) – Özil is causing problems in the locker room, comes back rarely back and seems to disappear in the big matches. But, it is also capable of wonderful things, wonderful. For this reason, it remains one of the largest players of Arsenal – and could surprise in the hole.
Nicolas Pépé (RW) – Has not managed to reproduce the form shown at Lille, but the signing of the record of the club of 72 million pounds has the pace to disrupt any bottom line, much less an under-performance in Defence for Manchester City. Should start over the likes of Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) – Outstanding artist over the past two years, the future of Aubameyang at Arsenal is not clear because its brightness individual continues not to be rewarded. Scored half of the goals that Robin van Persie has scored in eight years in only two – says it all doesn’t it?
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – If there is someone who deserves to complain when Arsenal is described as a “team of one man” or as “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang FC”, it is Alexandre Lacazette. Striker regular, runner, volunteer, and good team player, the Frenchman could cause problems if the Gunners probe the bottom line of the City.