Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes six teams are fighting for title

Sterling is available for selection for City’s Premier League opener against Arsenal this weekend. — Reuters pic

Michael Cox looks at the tactics, Alan Thompson provides the betting lowdown.

The Premier League match of the week is the last one on the slate on Sunday as new-look Arsenal plays its first match league contest without Arsene Wenger when it welcomes Manchester City to the Emirates. "Of course they deserved to play, of course", Guardiola stressed.

However, during his 10 matches against Pep, Emery could only manage four draws, losing the other six. How many 35-year-olds are playing in the Premier League?

Emery, even if successful in the long-term, will probably take time to assert himself at a club used to only one man for 22 years. With Sead Kolasinac's knee injury keeping him out of action for the next two months, Nacho Monreal is the natural replacement for the Bosnian. He will play alongside Shkodran Mustafi and fans will want better performances than witnessed in pre-season. Thus, he is definitely a huge threat for the Manchester City defence, likely to be led by English worldwide John Stones.

They write: "The new Gunners boss will be hoping Aaron Ramsey is fit after suffering a slight calf injury".

The German should be flanked by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the right.

"We can do our job the same as last season but maybe Liverpool or United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Tottenham can do much better and they win".

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The toughest selection may be in the centre of defence where captain Vincent Kompany and Stones face competition from Nicolas Otamendi and £54million Aymeric Laporte. Kyle Walker will overlap more for City than for England, where he was shifted inside into a back three.

Arsenal are likely to press in the early stages, if Emery's approach against Guardiola in the past is anything to go by. Arsenal must watch long balls over the top, however - Aguero has punished them in that manner in the past, particularly in this year's Carabao Cup final. I know exactly what we did to achieve that, and that is where we start from.

"I am focused on that, not focused on back-to-back (titles)".

Yet despite Arsenal's reduced status, Emery, who parted ways with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season, jumped at the chance to follow in Wenger's footsteps in north London.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists that he will take the season game by game rather than setting his sights on retaining the Premier League title. That said though this is still a tricky opener for the Champions.

"We have a lot of ambition to start well on Sunday against the last winners of the Premier League".

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