Sunday 12th August 2018

Event of the Day: Arsenal versus Manchester City

Our event of the day is the Premier League fixture between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium. Today marks the beginning of the Unai Emery regime at Arsenal, as they take to the pitch without Arsene Wenger in the dugout for the first time since 1996. Arsenal’s attacking strength has never been questioned. In the shape of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Özil, they possess undoubted style and class going forward.However, their defensive frailties were often exposed in Wenger’s later years, arguably contributing to their fourteen-year Premier League trophy drought. Emery’s first concern was to address Arsenal’s defensive issues. Centre backs Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have been brought in from Juventus and Borussia Dortmund in the hope of adding some steeliness to the Gunners. It will be fascinating to see the impact Emery has had on this Arsenal side that for so long have fallen just short of fulfilling their potential. The new boss could not have been granted a tougher start. They welcome the team who won the Premier League with a staggering 100 points last campaign.

Manchester City will be under intense pressure to replicate last season’s form. Pep Guardiola’s side stormed to the league title in flawless fashion, recording the most wins, most goals scored and greatest points total amassed in Premier League history. The summer purchase of Riyad Mahrez has only added to City’s formidable front line, where they are spoilt for choice with attacking prowess. Mahraz joins the world class quartet of Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling and David Silva, who set up a combined fifty-three goals last season. Guardiola has turned his group of individual stars into a hugely stylish team. They are aiming to be the first team to successfully defend the Premier League title since 2009. This City side are already being considered one of the greatest in Premier League history. A second consecutive league triumph would begin to confirm this. Expect some attractive and exciting football on display today.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Austrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Marc Márquez will look to extend his lead at the top of the standings and starts from pole, with legendary veteran rider Valentino Rossi in second spot in the season standings struggling in qualifying, keep an eye on the Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo. The final day of the European Championships take place in Germany and Scotland, with medals up for grabs in athletics, road cycling, diving, golf, gymnastics and open water swimming. Elsewhere in the UK, Champions League finalists Liverpool host big spending West Ham at Anfield in the Premier League. Further football action comes from the Parc de Princes, where Paris Saint-Germain begin their Ligue 1 title defence at home to Caen. In the Netherlands, the opening weekend of Eredivisie fixtures finishes with AZ Alkmaar against NAC Breda at the AFAS Stadium. In the MLS, table-topping FC Dallas are away to the Seattle Sounders. Additional sporting action in the States comes from St Louis, where day 4 of the PGA Championship gets underway at Bellerive County Club. In Baltimore there’s MLB action as the Baltimore Orioles, who are rock bottom of the table, play the Boston Red Sox, who currently sit in first place. The Rogers Cup concludes in Montreal and Toronto, with finals in the singles and doubles. In cricket, there’s a top of the table clash in the Vitality T20 Blast, as first place Durham welcome third place Lancashire. At Lord's, day 4 of the second test between England and India is on display. The fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa takes place in Colombo, with South Africa leading the series 3-1. In the Women’s Cricket Super League, Yorkshire Diamonds face the Surrey Stars at Clifton Park Ground. Meanwhile in Australia, Melbourne host Sydney Swans in the AFL, whilst the Raiders play the Tigers in Canberra in the NRL. The final day of the Sailing World Championships gets underway in Aarhus, Denmark. 

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy! 


Photos by Premier League 

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