With Bukayo Saka, Martin Ødegaard and Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal can finally face manager’s old club on their own terms

The last time Arsenal hosted Manchester City for a top-flight fixture Mikel Arteta looked on and, inwardly at least, shook his head. He was five days from becoming their manager and, barking orders alongside Pep Guardiola in the away technical area, there were shorter-term preoccupations. It would have taken superhuman self-possession not to notice the gloom enveloping the Emirates, though, and the bad feeling affected him enough to be one of the first points he raised at his unveiling.

“I was a little bit down after the game when I felt what was going on,” he said. “It wasn’t only the performance, it was the atmosphere and energy I perceived when I was working around the place. That worried me a little bit.”

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