Unai Emery's appointment as the new Arsenal manager has sparked quite a lot of debates and discussions - some revelling in his three consecutive UEFA Europa League triumphs with Sevilla while many pointing out his underwhelming stint at Paris Saint-Germain.
The Spaniard urged the Arsenal fans to stick behind the team even when things don't go to plan, although the past few seasons in north London have depicted a far from unified camp. If he does start, Manchester City must be licking their lips with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling both looking to target the stand-in full-back.
It was the first time since 1996 that Arsenal has opened a season without Wenger in charge.
Returning to the Champions League via a top four finish in the Premier League will be Emery's main target, yet knocking one of City, Manchester United, Liverpool or Tottenham from those positions, and also overtaking Chelsea, is a tough proposition.
Otamendi comes for too many aerial balls he can't win, Kompany is turned too often on the ground.
The new boss spent the summer bolstering the back as he brought in defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria, goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen and center back Sokratis from Borussia Dortmund.More news: Ikea opens in India with chance to capture booming middle class
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Pep Guardiola's team are fancied once more, and who'd put it past them to be lifting the title again in May.
Maitland-Niles isn't a natural left-back, although was deployed there on various occasions last season, and his right-footedness might help if Guardiola deploys Riyad Mahrez on the right flank, as the Algerian is always attempting to drift inside onto his left.
"I don't want to forget what we have done last season". I know exactly what we did to achieve that and that is where we start from. That's the basic principle. "It was a little bit of frustration because I see these players every day and I know the quality they have in close quarters".
Manchester City are the biggest challenge of Emery's fresh injection of ideas and a platform where they can execute them and show their stand with a win. If not, Aubameyang is likely to start from the left flank, although he may the lead the line here.
Despite last season's stunning achievements, Guardiola was his usual guarded self when talking about City's prospects for the year ahead, believing as many as five other teams could prevent him from becoming the first manager in a decade to retain the title.
For Emery, an opening game against the Premier League champions is a daunting task.