Mahrez, Sokratis and Guendouzi make Premier League debuts

Riyad Mahrez is straight into the Manchester City team for the first game of the season, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles starting for Arsenal.

Matteo Guendouzi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos make their Premier League debuts in Unai Emery’s Arsenal bow, with Riyad Mahrez put straight into the Manchester City team by Pep Guardiola.

The champions only made one signing to add to the squad that won the league by 19 points last term and Mahrez starts in place of Leroy Sane in City’s frontline.

With Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal both ruled out through injury, Danny Welbeck was trialled by Emery at left-back in the build-up to Sunday’s game at Emirates Stadium.

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But Emery has instead opted for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to fill in, with Sokratis partnering Shkodran Mustafi in the heart of the Arsenal defence, while Petr Cech gets the gloves rather than new signing Bernd Leno.

Kevin De Bruyne is fit enough only for a place on City’s bench having returned to training after the World Cup this week, while Sergio Aguero is preferred to Gabriel Jesus after the Brazilian failed to score at Russia 2018.

De Bruyne’s fellow Belgium international Vincent Kompany is also on the bench, meaning January arrival Aymeric Laporte starts alongside John Stones at the back.

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