Man City open title defence at Arsenal


Premier League champions Manchester City will open their title defence with a clash away to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, 12 August 2018, kick-off at 17h00 CAT.

Arsenal comes into the game off the back of a 2-0 win over Italian side Lazio in a friendly last Saturday, with the result wrapping up their pre-season preparation. They have also come up against the likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid in preparation for the 2018/19 marathon.

The Gunners have enjoyed a good summer in terms of recruitment, with new manager Unai Emery addressing their shortcomings with the signings of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi, Bern Leno and Lucas Torreira.

City has been less active in the transfer market, with their only notable acquisition the signing of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City for a club-record fee. However, Pep Guardiola’s team proved their strength with a comfortable 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield this past weekend, and they also beat German giants Bayern Munich at the end of July.

In head-to-head stats, City and Arsenal have met in 42 Premier League matches. The Gunners have claimed 23 wins compared to nine for the Citizens, while 10 matches have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was a league game back in March, which saw City claim an emphatic 3-0 win in London, thanks to goals from Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Leroy Sane. The Citizens are unbeaten in their last five league matches against the Gunners.

Guardiola’s team enter the match as the clear favourites to claim all three points, though Arsenal and new manager Emery will be looking to lay down a marker on home soil and demonstrate that their time of being also-rans in the title race is over.

This Arsenal-City clash promises to be a showcase of attacking football, with the hosts boasting the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, while the latter will again look to Kevin De Bruyne’s playmaking brilliance.

Arsenal v Man City – Head-to-head, Premier League

Matches played 42

Arsenal wins 23

Man City wins 9

Draws 10