The new season of the Premier League kicked off on Friday with Manchester United defeating Leicester City 2-1 in a tight encounter at Old Trafford, and we have had some exquisite performances since then.
Richarlison made a wonderful debut for Everton, following his £50m transfer from Watford, with the Brazilian putting in a man-of-the-match performance with a brace against newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux.
Elsewhere, Chelsea showed an early statement of intent with a comprehensive 3-0 victory away to Huddersfield while Tottenham ground out a 2-1 win over Newcastle at the St James’ Park.
It’s been an interesting opening weekend to the Premier League, however, the showdown everyone is waiting for and undoubted match of the weekend will take place on Sunday at The Emirates as Arsenal hosts defending champions Manchester City.
The Cityzens are clear favorites to defend the Premier League owing to the emphatic nature in which they won it last season, but The Gunners are no shrinking violets themselves and will hold the belief that they can upset Guardiola’s army at home.
Arsenal has one of the best home records in the league over the last three seasons, and on their day can defeat anyone at home, and on the strength of their home form, despite how daunting a challenge it seems, Manchester City can be defeated.
Unai Emery is tasting Premier League football for the first time, and will seek to restore Arsenal back to the upper echelons of English football, after the stagnation under Arsene Wenger. A good way to announce himself to the Premier League would be with a statement victory over Manchester City which would seriously dent their confidence this season. Here is how Lucas Torreira can stop the juggernaut which is Man City.
Following a stellar performance as the lynchpin for the Uruguay defense at the World Cup, 22-year-old Lucas Torreira finalized a £25m move from Sampdoria in the Serie A to Arsenal in the Premier League.
The Uruguayan international is extremely efficient at ball recovering, and would be crucial to cleanly breaking up Manchester City’s play.
Since he established himself as a regular for Sampdoria in the 2016/2017 season, Torreira has distinguished himself as a holding midfielder with enormous potential. He attempted the most tackles (198), most fouls (174) and most interceptions (158) in the Sampdoria team over the last two years, while he was one of only three players to have attempted more than 100 tackles in Serie A last season (along with Lucas Leiva and Allan), but he had the highest tackle win ratio of the trio (68.2%).
Despite standing at just 5-foot-6, Torreira makes up for what he lacks in height with an endless amount of commitment while putting his body on the line, and he is also a significant upgrade on Arsenal’s current holding midfielder.
Torreira bossed the Swiss international in key stats last term. Whereas Xhaka averaged 2.1 tackles and 1.0 interceptions per 90 minutes last season in he Premier League, Torreira, in contrast, in Serie A, was at 2.8 tackles and 2.0 interceptions per 90 minutes.
He also goes about his business in a clean manner, receiving just 6 yellow cards in 33 appearances for Sampdoria last season unlike Xhaka who was booked 12 times in 48 appearances across all competitions.
City’s possession based system means that a lot of their play runs through their midfield, and in David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, they have some of the most devastating midfielders in the world who could hurt any opponent, but with Torreira, Unai Emery has a potential antidote to limit their impact.