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Guardiola has said losing is his greatest fear and says his players must be motivated by how they got over the line in spectacular fashion last season. They won just once on the road in the league after the turn of the year and they were knocked out of the Europa League in the semi-finals.

For Emery, the message to Arsenal supporters is that they must not be fretful.

Instead, he has told his players to use their form of past year - in which they also set records for most points, wins and goals in the Premier League era - to launch another championship charge.

However, the former Monaco title-winner has shown his impressive progress in preseason and if he performs well against Arsenal, perhaps Guardiola will be given something to ponder over. Benjamin Mendy, a World Cup victor with France will look to keep injuries away as he looks to get a string of games under his belt.

Forward Riyad Mahrez could make his league debut for the club following his £60million summer move from Leicester.

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery has made Laurent Koscielny captain of the club despite his long-term injury, and named Mesut Ozil among his four other co-captains. A lot will depend on his performance against Aubameyang if the defending champions are to kickstart their campaign with a win on Sunday. Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos whose experience will be vital for Arsenal will start in the central defence along with Mustafi. Those that know him say Emery watches 12 hours of video for each game, and you can expect the Arsenal players to watch a good few hours too preparing for this match.

However, this could be a good time to play them. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 17. Alex Iwobi, 29.

Arsenal will be without Sead Kolasinac.

Their opponents for Sunday, Manchester City, splurged only on Riyad Mahrez - an able option to back-up the tactically intelligent, yet much-maligned Raheem Sterling but Pep Guardiola already has a system in place with nearly the entirety of his squad well-versed in his preferred style of play.

Bernardo Silva has earned huge praise from Guardiola in pre-season and is expected to play a key role for City.


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