The Gunners appointed Emery early in the summer so he had ample time to prepare, but he was not the Arsenal board's first choice and their primary target, Mikel Arteta, will take his seat on the visitors' bench on Sunday. City's left-back missed nearly the entirety of last season through injury, and his overlapping will bring an extra dimension to City's attacking play. 'Forget how much Liverpool have spent, they were already a good team last season as well.
It was a memorable campaign but City boss Guardiola is well aware that rival teams and managers will be determined to improve and cut them down.
Arsenal should get plenty as the season goes on - in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette they have two of the top seven favourites to be the league's top scorer - but keeping goals out is Unai Emery's priority. "We want to give him confidence", stated Emery during his pre-match press conference. The important thing is to be ourselves.
Alongside him is the sort of player Arsenal have needed for a while, with Uruguay World Cup ace Lucas Torreira arriving to compete in a combative role for the Gunners and providing extra protection to a defence that was far too frail last season.
"That's the basic principle". The players know the coaching staff work a lot and I have spoken many times with them.More news: Maryland coach DJ Durkin placed on leave by administration as investigation begins
Guardiola revealed on Friday that World Cup stars Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling would be available for selection.
"Now we start again".
I will be using half my stake backing Over 3.5 goals before the game starts at around [2.5] and also placing the other half on Over 2.5 goals with a keep bet should it reach [2.0] in running.
"I can not see any way past Manchester City, in terms of who will win it. I am focused on that, not focused on back-to-back [titles]", Guardiola told reporters.
Emery has commented recently that he wants his team to play like City, and he will demand intensity and pressing that was often lacking from his predecessor's teams.More news: Lucas Moura Starts - Tottenham Hotspur Team vs Newcastle United Confirmed
Although the competition hardly carries the weight of other trophies, it was an emphatic statement from City that they are ready to continue where they left off last season.
"A final you have to try to win it and we prepared for it like it was a game in April, May". But Sunday, we need to show on the pitch our performance at a big level.
No club has retained the title since Manchester United in 2008-09.
'We can do our job, yes, but maybe Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea can do their job better and win, reflects Guardiola.More news: Sea-Tac Airport Issues Statement After 'Suicidal Male' Crashes Plane