Yes, we’re here. The new season, Arsenal, edge-of-your-seat sitting, screaming, cursing, the joys, the pains, the disappointments all coming up. You know the drill.
And our first game doesn’t make this easier.
Neither does our second game. It’s against the Chavs.
Our weekly contributors to this section have to have their say, and this is what they think:
What formation and which line-up gives Arsenal the best chance of a draw or a win?
Sanni: I will actually play a 4-2-3-1 formation. I’ll have Leno in goal, Bellerin on the right, Maitland Niles, Sokratis and Mustafi. That’s an easy pick.
Now in the centre, I’ll play a double pivot of Lucas Torriera and Granit Xhaka, I think the Manchester City midfield is a better team, and our first thought should be to contain them. On the right, I’ll play Mkhitaryan, and on the left, I’ll play Mesut Özil! And in the centre, I’ll play Rambo because that gives us some solidity because he and Özil can interchange positions. Mesut plays from the wings most of the time anyway but it’s a very changeable role for the front three as it gives one of the other at the centre to assist the other two.
Up front, I’ll play Aubameyang. That’s an easy pick. I think Lacazette would have to sit down on this one.
Femi: I think the nest formation to go with 4-3-3 as I think this gives us the best chance of winning. Cech should start as I think it’ll be unfair to throw Leno into the deep end by pitting him against last seasons champions. Cech was solid last season.
Lichtsteiner should start against City because he’s going to be playing against Sane. Sane is a young player who’s quite skilful but Lichtsteiner is aggressive and he’s experienced. So while he might not have the pace, he might know how to handle a player like Sane psychologically. I’ve always been of the opinion that we should have a young versus old defensive pairing. If Chambers hadn’t gone to Fulham, I’d have said Chambers should start with Sokratis. However, it seems Sokratis and Mustaphi will get the start.
In midfield, I think we should go with Ramsey, Torriera and Xhaka. And up front, I think we should have Auba, Mkhi and Ozil. In this kind of game against a team stronger than us, it’s good to have the ability to break on the counter which Auba gives us more than Lacazette.
Seun: I’ll go with a 4-3-3 formation. Sokratis and Mustaphi in centre back positions. Bellerin on the right and AMN on the left. In the midfield, I’ll go with Torriera and Xhaka with Özil sitting right on top of them. On the left Auba, Lacazette as striker and Mkhi on the right.
The Opposition Player(s) to Watch out for
Sanni: I think the opposition player to watch out for is Riyadh Mahrez. He’s fresh, he’s a great player. Leroy Sane also gave Hector Bellerin some trouble last time, so we need to watch out for him.
Femi: We need to watch out for the opposing team’s pressing and their entire forward line. We need to be organised in defence. The midfield has to do a great job protecting the defence because that defence (our defence) isn;t very good to begin with.
Seun: Leroy Sane. He has a lot of pace to burn. He didn’t cut the national team and I think he’ll want to prove a lot this season. Sergi Aguero has also started this season on a huge note, scoring two in his last game.
Sanni: I’ll think I’ll go with a 2-1 defeat. Manchester City has what it takes to roll us. I hope they don’t steam-roll us that much. I won’t be surprised though if we pull off a win, say a 1-nil or 2-nil win especially as we play them at home. It’ll be City’s game to lose.
Femi: (Laughs) My head says we’ll probably lose 2-1 but my heart says we can win 2-1. There goes.
Seun: We’ll come out with a draw. A 2-2 draw. There’ll be a lot of goals in this game.
And then we all find out that Guendouzi starts…