The date has been set, players are getting ready and managers are finalizing their tactics ahead of the Premier League’s return date. According to the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, the English Premier League is set to return on the 17th of June after a two months break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the most exciting feature on the return date is scheduled to take place at the Emirates Stadium where the Gunners will play host to second-place Manchester City. The Etihad Stadium outfits haven’t been in their best form throughout the season as they surprisingly dropped some points in matches and many tipped them to win outrightly.
Arsenal, on the other hand, is struggling to qualify for next year’s Champions League competition as they currently occupy the 9th position. A win for the North London club will boost their hope of finishing among the top clubs while Manchester City’s dream of beating Liverpool to the trophy (which is almost an impossible task) will receive a major boost.
However, the most fascinating aspect of the upcoming encounter is the fact that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be up against his former boss Pep Guardiola. It should be recalled that the Spaniard was Guardiola’s right-hand man when the Citizens clinched their second consecutive Premier League title last season. All eyes will be on the former Arsenal midfielder to see how his players would fare against the In-form Manchester City team. As much as the Gunners faithful are expecting Arteta to prove a point against his ex-boss, the encounter comes too early for an inexperienced tactician who could fail to live up to fans’ expectations.
Firstly, the manager hasn’t gained the required experience to record a surprise result against Manchester City. He has overseen just 15 games as first-team manager which is nothing compared to Guardiola’s 627 Matches. Another reason why the clash comes too soon for the Gunners is the fact that they might struggle for form due to the prolonged Coronavirus-enforced break. Just as Arsenal players, Guardiola’s men are equally going to be affected by the long break but Guardiola’s experience might just be the difference between both teams.
This is not to say that Arteta doesn’t stand a chance against his former boss. This is football where nothing is impossible, but the Gunners fans shouldn’t expect too much from the young manager who obviously needs more time before delivering consistent results.