Arsenal v Man City: Line-Up | Score Prediction | 3 Things to Look Fwd to

For us Gooners the season starts tomorrow and WHAT a game we have on our hands. The reigning champions are visiting and Unai Emery is in charge of his very first PL game. This season Match Previews will be short and to the point. I will give you my predicted line-up and a score prediction, and then three things to look forward to.

Predicted Line-up

submit football lineup

I am going for Rambo being fit to start and him playing in the hole. If Rambo is not fit, I expect Mkhi to start instead of him. Torreira and Xhaka to keep it tight in midfield and yet being able to quickly move the ball forward when we win it from the champions. I expect Nacho and Bellerin to start on the wings but this could also be AMN and Lichtsteiner. Leno instead of Cech as to deal better with the MC press.

Predicted Score

3-1 to the mighty Red and White.

We are playing at home, MC are the favourites and being the underdog will suit us tomorrow. If we play with discipline and a high tempo, and take the game to them at times too (including high pressing), I reckon we can win this. Just have a good feeling about it.

Three Things to Look Fwd to

  1. Unai’s tactical approach: will he go all ‘Liverpool’ and press MC high and never let them settle; or will he have the team sit deep and play on the counter…. or? I cannot wait to find out;
  2. The battle in Midfield: can we deny MC’s midfield the space they love to have there? Can we escape their suffocating press?
  3. The noise and support of the home crowd: I am expecting the start of a new era and full-hearted support for Unai’s Arsenal.

By TotalArsenal.

113 thoughts on “Arsenal v Man City: Line-Up | Score Prediction | 3 Things to Look Fwd to

  • As I have already stated, I’d be (pleasantly) surprised if Emery starts with Leno; it will be Cech, for me. Also feel we’re likely to see Mkhi, Auba and Ozil in a front 3, with a midfield trio of Torreira, Xhaka/Guendouzi and Ramsey (all fighters and playmakers in the middle). I like the back 4 as predicted but worry that Monreal may not be risked and AM-N gets to play.

    Prediction: Arsenal 3 – 2 City. Arsenal Goals from Mustafi, Lacazette and Auba. There you go.

  • Continuing the new tradition, begun two seasons back– with end to end bar-burners in openers
    (4-3 L Pool, then 4-3 W Leicester)? I’ll go with Newman UE’s predilection– with my prediction– of a 5-4 W for the good guys. Auba with a brace in the box, Laca and Ramsey bag from mid-range– and Xhaka with a bazooka-shot from distance. Ozil with 3 assists.

    John The Optimist 🙂

  • *barn-burners…
    (Coulda’ been Freudian on two different fronts with ‘bar-burners’ or ‘bra-burners’ 🙄


  • Hmm

    A. Leaving out mkhi ? … hmmm … this is the query about AR, Mkhi, Ozil, Laça, Auba, where there’s 5 of them but 4 spots if you have a holding twosome of 2 of Torreira, Xhaka, Geundozi… Alternatives and competition galore like we’ve not had in a bit.

    B. Nacho if he’s well, but knee tweak seemed serious enough so AMN if not perhaps? Then if De Bruyne targets him?

    C. Cech is a co-captain so figure him as #1 for now…

    Prediction, lineup, surprises all around, and will likely also signal how tactical Emery will be.

    I’m figuring 1-1 or 2-1 to the red guys… Ozil assists and Auba gets one. Tragically it’ll be 3am here so I’ll wake to the score.

    Cheers — jgc

  • Ola By Name I Expect The New Coach To Proof It Self With His Young Age Good Luck To Gunners Fans In Nigeria

  • Only Torreira (charrua) to start amongst those late returnees who’ve had sub 90 minutes of pre-season game time. More of a 4:3:3. Emery like Klopp would not oblidge Pep by sitting back. He’d want his strongest weapon (his attackers) very much involved and not made redundant.

    My midfield 3 ….. Torreira guard dog, Guendouzi transitioning the ball, Ramsey leading the energy charge. If Ramsey would not be risked, Elneny to give security to possession (beating City press).

    Front 3 …. one of thhe fab 4 has to sit on the bench.

    Emery impressed with Welbz versatility, trying him out at left back. But early days so M-Niles to start.

    The team to play with Emers personality so playing out from the back (the area where they have made the greatest stride) is to be expected with Leno conducting.

    My team

    Bell, Musti, Sokratis, M-Niles
    Douzi, Torreira, Ramsey/Elneny
    Ozil, Auba, Mkhi

    Bench: Cech, Lichst, Nacho, Xhaka, Elneny/Rambo, Iwobi, Laca.

    Score: 2-1 Arsenal.

  • PE, Emery said that Cech will be his numero uno.. so Cech will start today and be the captain.

    AMN also seems not possible, as Welbs is being converted to the emergency LB position. The rest could be spot on, or maybe Lichtsteiner will play?

    Hope to have a good game by the lads tonight.

  • Hi all..
    Well.. here we are.. The battle begin..
    Our New Era is finally start..

    Will we start attacking from beginning or we wait for secondhalf to gain our victory..

    If the first scenario is chosen.. then I think lacazette, Aubameyang, Ozil and Mhikitaryan will play together.. and Ramsey or Xhaka will rest..

    But if the second is chosen, then Lacazette or Mhiki will rest.. Bellerin also.. Lichts can defend better.. With Monreal also avaliable.. we have very solid back four..

    GK, I think both Cech or Leno will be fine..
    Both are mean quality.. Hehehe..

  • The Arsenal U23’s visited Man City yesterday, took a 3-1 lead and ended up losing 6-5.
    A glimpse into today’s game perhaps?

    Man City have 5 wins and 5 draws in their last 12 EPL games vs Arsenal, apparently they haven’t won away at Arsenal in consecutive seasons since 1936, the year of the Munich Olympics, Jessie Owens, Adolf and all that, so today could be historical on many levels.

    Guardiola will know that Emery is only at the very beginning of his massive rebuilding job and that we’re still at a vulnerable stage of change, City by comparison are at their absolute zenith. Putting my sensible head on I can send a great game but Arsenal’s defensive issues leading to City winning 3 or 4-2, but that the Arsenal performance will still give us reasons to be optimistic.
    My positive head is going for a high scoring draw, 2-2, 3-3 and maybe a narrow win.

    I haven’t a clue what team Unai will pick but it’ll be exciting, of that I’m sure.

  • Agreed with the front 3 of Laca, Auba and Ozil.. And Ramsey too. But if he’s not available, Ozil goes in the middle and Miki starts wide. Again agreed.

    So on to the disagreement. I think Guendouzi starts today, along with Torreira rather than Xhaka and Torreira. Both came back late, and Guendouzi has looked good in pre-season. And since Torreira is the more combative/defensive I think he partners MG in midfield. Also, I doubt Nacho will start. So it’s AMN, which is ok because both AMN and Bellerin are speedy so should be able to recover. Plus, Cech to start. Just a hunch. Even if Cech weren’t named captain by Emery.

    So Starting XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis. AMN, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey (Miki), Ozil, Auba, Laca
    Subs: Leno, Holding, Nacho, Xhaka, Elneny (Miki), Iwobi, Welbz

    PS…PE and njk..Where does the idea of Welbeck at LB come from?

  • Thanks for the links, chaps. Well if Valencia and Ashley Young can be converted to fullbacks, why not Welbeck. He’s always been hard working.All the same, I’d be very surprised to see him play there, especially against a team like City. One of the lower teams, maybe.

    But really, I think he’s just helped out in training because we have injuries in that position, rather than he’s being groomed for it.

  • Shard ….. my line up has M-Niles starting at LB but Emery is trying out Welbz there in training. What it tells me is that Nacho is not ready yet.

    I still sticking on Leno as today’s choice. People are rushing to Cech’s conclusion because he is named as one of the five captains. By the multiple captain Emery has simply bought himself some space for drop any of them at will. Captainship can also be for the dressing room. Outside of these what’s the sense in choosing so many.

  • Great post .TA a positive shot in the arm. I really haven’t got a clue which team he will put out today, but my head says City,my Heart day says Arsenal. With some luck for a change we might just get something. Great team that City are they are still a team built with a bottomless pit of money. Really looking forward to seeing our new defensive midfield in action today.


  • Thanks Retsub for the acknowledgement of the post writer 😀 (you and I are from the generation that were taught manners! 😉 )

    Bottomless pit indeed… and how did they attract possibly the best manager in the world ….?? Loads and Loads of cash.

    Let’s beat them with our values and passion. COYRRGs!!!

  • Was still late afternoon Saturday– and one beer too many for manners ( 🙄 )– when you’d posted TA. Apologies. A fine one too– to kickoff our new era! Thanks. 😉

    A tad more fineness on the details in some lineups proposed up-thread. Seems clear that Mustafi must play in the left-CB spot. He looks a different player there than in the marshalling role (I really miss a young-Per). Fingers-crossed today.

    If Welbeck is being deputized at LB in training? Then it’s surely AMN to start.

    Would prefer Auba/Laca/Ozil/Ramsey/Mkhi on the pitch too. That would place Mkhi in the Cazorla role, paired with The Terrier. And? Possible today too– with Xhaka’s match-readiness a question. With this being City– I’d like all possible pace and guile to start. Mkhi might be the better choice in the middle of a pressing scheme too.

    Reiterate as above and from the last post, that I’m expecting a large number of goals today. Thinking an even tally acceptable– or a bit of luck or a great effort for the good guys to prevail. Would be a neat thing if it did end 5-4 Arsenal. 🙂

    Definitely optimistic for a positive outcome–


  • Weird watching Wilshere in a West Ham kit.
    Hope he gives Pool’s MF fits today.
    Get ’em Jack! 🙂


  • I know this won’t actually happen, but I would start Torreira and Guendouzi, and save Ramsey as a big impact sub. Guendouzi is what we need against teams like City and Liverpool.

    No doubt Xhaka will start as Total predicts, and Miki for sure. He looked so ready vs Lazio.

  • Wow.. Surprisingly.. Guendozi Xhaka Ramsey play together as our 3 midfielders.. in 4-3-3 formation..

  • Cech
    Bellerín, Mustafi, Sokratis, AMN
    Xhaka, DOUZI,
    Micki, Ramsey, Özil,

    About the lineup I would expect bar the addition of our teenage maestro. Big decision from Unai. If things go well, wouldn’t be surprised (and quite relieved) to see Xhaka dropped once Torreira is fit.

  • Now, let’s see who predicted the right 11 for us.

    Cech, Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubameyang

    Subs: Elneny, Lacazette, Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Iwobi, Leno

    Man City
    Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Aguero

    Subs: Bravo, Kompany, De Bruyne, Sane, Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus, Foden

    Looks like I got all but Torreira correctly; a fair assessment would recall I included all 4 of Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi and Ramsey, so…. 🏆

  • Actually NBCSN sez it’ll be a 4-3-3:



  • Now, let’s hope I get the predicted score right, to make everyone’s day. It had to be Cech, for the reasons I mentioned on a previous threat and other reasons proffered by other posters above. The boys have just got to be up for this and with Lichtsteiner breathing down Bellerin’s neck, hopefully, he has a blinder.

    Come on you gunners!! Liverpool go top with 4 past West Ham.

  • Although Eris–
    Could have easily been 4 or 5 in the 1st half. WHU was porous.
    Mane’s second– he was a yard offside. Kept expecting the VAR to overturn.*sigh*


  • Whatever happens today, it’s the start of a long process, it’s not going to be sorted in one summer, we’re not going to learn how to press like Liverpool or Man City in one preseason and we probably haven’t got the playing staff to do it anyway.

    But I’m pleased to see Maitland Niles in the line up, he’s going to be busy today and Guendouzi will bring a new dimension to our midfield that City haven’t faced in our last few encounters.

    Ramsey has a big day ahead of him, if he wants the big bucks then show you deserve them.

    Aubameyang was dominated at Wembley earlier this year when he played as the lone striker so he owes us and himself a performance to compensate.

  • JW, there was an offside goal that was disallowed at Southampton earlier I think, so that’s two games and two wrong decisions that could have changed the two games already.

    Well done PGMOL.

  • I was right and wrong, no Torreira, I’m sure it’s down to him not having enough time in actual preseason games. But so happy to see Guendouzi in there. Excited.

  • Lol, @ VAR, jw1. Commentator had to go into the explanation of why there was no VAR interlude to chalk off that goal. There was a hint of offside even for Salah’s first, but to a lesser extent.

    Agree with you, Kev. It is the start of a process and it will be disingenuous of fans to read too much into the result, as there will be more to come from the team and manager. Also agree Auba doesn’t seem suited for the lone striker role, against a talented team as City. Hopefully, the presence of Mkhi may bring out the best in him this time. Again, Guendouzi is quite capable of pinging balls over the top for him and he may just catch the City defence off guard a couple of times. City sure have a game on their hands.

  • I want to see energy from Xhaka today. I already love Guendouzi and Torreira, and I want to love Xhaka again, with our new team. We would have a top midfield if he can perform. I know the passing is there, but the occasional lazy pass, or being overrun are issues for him to overcome.

  • Eris, I really hope that SKY, BT and MotD keep a running tally of these mistakes, because the idiots officiating our game need to be humiliated into accepting VAR, it’s becoming an embarrassment mate.

  • Kev–
    The entities paying for rights likely aren’t going to tally errors for fear of diminishing the brand/product. Don’t know if you ever read Untold Arsenal (website) but they’ve been running what seems like a one-site offensive vs PGMO for years. Granted the discussion runs a tad obsessive– but was very impressed with the numbers they tabulates over an entire season (2015-16, I think) that did a deep-dive comparison to correct-call percentages by each referee.

    But yeah– the World Cup was much the better for using VAR this Summer.


  • BBC say Laporte should have been booked, City quickly into their rotational fouling.

    Sterling booked for late challenge on Guendouzi

  • Could easily have been two yellow cards to City, but only Sterling’s gets Michael Oliver’s attention. Laporte had gone right through Auba there.
    We seem to be playing a more patient build up game, rather than our more familiar ever forward thinking play.

  • City starting to get into stride. We just need to avoid going down early. I’ll be honest, I would have started Laca for this game; only we can’t have 12 players on.

  • Eris–
    Would have much rather had Torriera than Xhaka in this style of game– to this point.


  • Guess that made my point valid.
    Xhaka standing like a statue while Sterling waltzes across lining up his shot.


  • Critical period, we could lose this game over the next 10/15 minutes.

    JW was Cech at fault?

  • 0-1 already under 14 minutes. I think we’re trying too hard to play the “Emery” way and are too self conscious. Still a lot to play for. We need to go back to our old mode and ignore this need to be defence conscious.

  • Kev–
    Have to think if it’d been Torriera, he would have been closer to being in position than this:


  • We had 7 players in our penalty area when Sterling drifted across the front of our defence before blasting home. Clinical finishing.

  • Hope Am-N isn’t too badly hurt. That will be a crisis already, for Unai’s start to the league. He matched Walker so well, I had to applaud him.

  • Cech keeping us in it.

    I’ll agree re guendouzi but we’re comparing apples and oranges. This is his first real test and I’m confident he’ll come good.

    Aaaand another left back down.

  • Three times Johnnie.
    Lazy pass from the back– resulting in a City shot into the side-netting prior to Sterling’s goal.


  • You can trust Lichtsteiner to get his first yellow card today. Already caught the refs attention with the way he’s barbed into Mahrez twice already.

  • Cech is struggling to play out from the back. It’s hilarious to see all the errors from the pressure we bring on ourselves.

  • Agreed Eris– but not certain if it would still be 1-0 without him between the sticks today.


  • Listening to the radio, it’s been all Man City with the odd Arsenal breakaway, I’ve not heard Aubameyangs name mentioned.

  • I made a promise to stay positive today and so far haven’t done to badly. There are a number of obvious problems on the pitch, but passing back to Cech all the time is diabolical. He looks nervous and did his best to try to score an OG. He made a couple of decent saves, but nothing
    I wouldn’t expect from a half decent keeper

    Please try a different tactic in the 2nd half. On the positive side we are still in it. All the time it stays at 1 – 0 we have a chance.

  • Mkhitaryan and Ramsey will thrive under our new coach this season. Micki in particular has been the stand out performer in what was a very hard to watch (and familiar) first half. A real shame about Ainsley.

    And please for the love of Dennis bring on Torreira. Ignoring all of his turnovers, I think the moment that summed him up for me was when he lost an aerial duel to Bernardo Silva. Woof.

    I know I’m probably being a bit harsh but there has been some positives. I am enjoying the work rate off the ball from our attacking unit. Here’s to hoping for some cohesive/attractive attacking play in the second half.

  • Right Kev, regroup. You never know what can happen in 45+ mins.

    I’m gonna pat myself on the back for my comment about Xhaka just before kickoff.
    I left him out of my lineup for exactly the reasons JW mentioned.

    My feeling is this about Granit: to be truly honest, he is too slow and doesnt posess the mobility for the top pace in this league. I think he is usable, but I would never let him play against Man city or Klopps Liverpool, maybe a couple other teams, including Tottenham.

    Ainsley was looking good, on the other hand. I hope it’s nothing major for all our sakes. Mikhitaryan has looked very good in midfield, and finally, we should just pay Ramsey. He is everywhere, trying everything for the team, on both ends. His energy and effort is unmatched.

  • I agree with you Retsub, with Cech in goal we should abandon the playing out from the back. It spreads nervousness everywhere. Otherwise he’s been terrific.

  • From what I see.. Xhaka and Ozil is the most weak players tonight.. I like to see Torriera and Lacazette in..
    If we play 3 in the back with licht, Sokratis and Mustafi.. than putting Ozil in the middle will work better..
    And can Guendouzi play full 90 minutes..??

  • Look, I’m from a place that calls it ‘soccer’. And maybe I’m ignorant of some rule or something? But can anyone explain to me why– a defender who is closing from behind can grab the attacker’s shoulder to halt his progress– without a foul called or being booked?


  • Guendouzi has got a lot to learn but he certainly gets stuck in and our best chances are when he has won the ball.

  • That. Right there.
    Torriera badgering Sterling to give the ball up twice.
    That is what’s required from a real DM!


  • In just 10 minutes Torreira’s presence has change the tenor of both our attack and defending.


  • When i first heard Torreiras name and did my youtube scouting, i said we can get him as a coquelin/santi(midfield Santi) dual use player. You see the passing as well as top grade defending….. great instincts.

  • Yeah, J– soon as I saw him on video– I’d changed my wishlist from Nzonzi to Lucas Torreira.


  • I know Guendouzi made some mistakes, but i actually see him as less of a problem than Xhaka today. Many more positive contributions from Matteo. I hope the coach continues to trust him this season.

  • True Kev– but IMHO? Had Torreira started, it might be 1-0 or better at present.


  • We did well in defense and midfield. Attacking we need to buck up so much that i think we forgot where the goal was.

    The debutants did very well today, Guendouzi, Torreira, Sokratis and Lichtsteiner did brilliantly.

    On to the next game.

  • JW, it was a clear indication of the job that Emery has to do and he’s going to need more quality players if we’re to close the gap, but on the plus side England beat India in the 2nd test at Lords.

  • Encouraging performance seeing that we are a work in progress. Emery must have taken a lot home today.

  • JW it was a very frustrating game with all those offsides. We have a lot of room for improvement, so I take solace in that. Cech made some good saves, but I still want to see Leno eventually.. Imagine us with Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey for 90 minutes. Also imagine them not against Man city. Our guys will have to match Kante and Jorginho next. But will dominate most other midfields.

  • Very surprised at how poor we were going forward today. I was prepared for a shaky defense (which actually performed admirably) but not for how wasteful our attacking unit was.

    Can’t hep but think it could have been a very different game if Torreira had started. Love his calm confidence in possession and tenacious bite when defending.

    I think Sokratis and Lich deserve a shout out too.

  • Was off internet access for most of the second half. If there are positives to point at, Cech looks better than I can remember him; Guendouzi’s performance means he has to keep playing teams like this; I saw Auba (appearing to?) jumping for headers; we had chances to score but lacked required communication to make it happen; we only conceded two, down from three last time out.

    I thought we showed them too much respect and should have been a bit more “protagonist” at home. It means we just need to be patient with Emery because the boys are trying to gel and be in sync with the manager’s ideas. I won’t be surprised if Emery drops both of Ozil and Ramsey/ or Xhaka (for Torreira and Elneny) next game; still in experimenting mode.

    Back to the drawing board.

  • Nik, JW, Gooners can’t help but be impressed by Lichtsteiner, including world cup. No nonsense, tough guy. Total respect for him, and he gets forward just fine for his age. I want to see him play more actually, not just because of injuries. Sets the right tone on the pitch.

  • Did I mention Ramsey above? Slip. Ramsey plays; Ozil, Xhaka are the ones at risk.

  • Would be silly to drop Ramsey at this point. He really is key to our out of possession movement and pressing. Hopefully they were just carefully managing his fitness.

    As far as xhaka is concerned, I think you all know how I feel at this point 🙂

  • I am on the Lichtsteiner train too. He kept the ball and was aggressive, not showing respect to the city players on his side; he may not be too intricate and played it safe most times, but he was steady and may be the one who continues in that role till Monreal or Am-N is fit.

  • I’m actually good with the team’s effort today. This was City after all.
    Most times with the effort given today– we would come away with a result against almost every other PL team. We were prepared– so good on Emery.

    We could have finished better.
    Wished Torreira had started.
    No other complaints.


  • Kev, Sokratis did well. He was very aware and was able to snuff out danger before it became a foot race. He managed to avoid a situation where he needed to test his pace. He looks good beside Mustafi, who also did well today. Laca came on and with his aggressive style, he brought more life to our forward play but was also responsible for some missed opportunities.

  • Frozen– the most surprising stat from the match? Mesut lost possession 19x today.
    Yikes! Knew he was having a rough day– but felt much of it was trying too aggressively to thread the needle on most of those occasions.

    Tough sledding today for Ozil. But just an off-day IMO.
    If healthy, always in the XI for me.


  • Then he has to get healthy real fast. He was dreadful today, as if trying to do something alien to him. Lacked his usual sharpness too. To think we had a better time for pre-season than the city squad.

  • Yep, Mesut had a real stinker. Like you though I’m not too worried about it. He’s the epitome of a confidence player and I think the events this summer coupled with no real chance to build his confidence made for a tough run out. We know his quality. Just hope it happens sooner than later because I don’t see Emery having the same amount of patience that Wenger did..

  • We pressed better in our own half a couple of stretches.. Emery’s famous video training will really be great this week. Watch how they press, and see what we are not doing, that they are doing right.
    They anticipate so well, when one teammate is trying to win the ball, another is trying to cut off the possible passing lanes. Half hearted pressing is almost worse than none at all.

    I feel for the first time in years, that lessons will be learned. We will also get better timing on all of those offsides also, no excuse for that many.
    We need to be a little better against Chelsea. I think that they may be feeling too good after their win, and underestimating us. They did choose a good coach though.
    I think Emery was too conservative not starting Torreira, it cost us a bit. But He was bold with Guendouzi.

    I know how things will go, we will all want Matteo over Xhaka every week. Hopefully Emery isn’t as stubborn as Arsene was, or maybe just see what we see. Again, to reiterate… No more Xhaka against hard pressing teams. I would prefer El Neny, or any youth player. It did hurt us today.

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