City to spoil Danny’s debut at the Emirates.
Has Arsene Wenger done it again? The one Premier League manager who doesn’t like spending other people’s money signed Danny Welbeck for £16 million just before the transfer window closed and that could be cash well-spent judging by the former Manchester United striker’s performance for England in Switzerland earlier this week.
Welbeck had been at United since he was a 9-year-old boy but Sir Alex Ferguson and then David Moyes insisted on playing him on the left-wing in the main.
He also usually occupied that position for England when selected but circumstances forced Roy Hodgson to play him through the middle against the Swiss, as he had when scoring a vital goal at Euro 2012, and the 23-year-old is suddenly a serious challenger to Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge in the central role for his country.
Welbeck’s signing was forced on Wenger with Olivier Giroud ruled out until the New Year. Lukas Podolski seems out of favour and Arsenal seem strangely reluctant to give Joel Campbell his chance in the Premier League, meaning there has been a lot of pressure on Yaya Sonogo in the early weeks of the season.
So is Danny boy the real deal? He’ll get chances playing in front of arguably the most fluid midfield in the top flight but could face a baptism of fire this weekend against reigning champions Manchester City.
The Gunners will make a late check on Aaron Ramsey, who limped out of Wales’ hard-fought victory over Andorra on Tuesday, and will know they are in for a harder game than when beating a weakened City 3-0 in the Community Shield at Wembley last month.
Ramsey, Giroud and Santi Cazorla scored for the Londoners that day but it will be a vastly different away team that lines up at the Emirates this weekend.
That said, a full-strength City side were turned over by Stoke at the Etihad just before the international break so Manuel Pellegrini may be considering changes. Edin Dzeko, Fernandhino, Pablo Zabaleta and former Gunner Gael Clichy could all come back into the first XI.
It may take a while for Welbeck to get used to his new team-mates but he’s 13/2 to score the first goal at the Emirates. However, we fancy City to bounce back from the Stoke reverse and claim all the points at 7/5 and end Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the campaign.
Arsenal v Manchester City kicks off at 12.45pm on Saturday, September 13th at the Emirates.