ARSENAL ARE BACK.
IT’S seven years since Arsenal last started a Champions League group campaign but the north London club will get to scratch that particular itch when PSV Eindhoven visit the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday for the opening Group B game.
The fixture marks the end of the Gunners’ Europa League exile with Mikel Arteta’s team sheet set to attract more attention than usual following the head coach’s decision to replace keeper Aaron Ramsdale with David Raya at Everton on Sunday. It has fired up a debate that has been simmering since Raya’s surprise arrival from Brentford during the summer transfer window.
Arteta has dismissed talk of a goalkeeping pecking order, insisting flexibility in all positions is key to his vision. The next two fixtures, however, will give an early indication of how Arteta intends to manage his resources with Tottenham next up in the north London derby on Saturday.
The draw appeared to have offered Arteta’s side relatively straight-forward reintroduction to the competition and the opening weeks of the season have offered little to disprove that, Only PSV have impressed, sweeping Rangers aside in the play-off round and starting their domestic campaign with four wins from their opening four games.
Sevilla, meanwhile, have won just one of their opening four La Liga games while Lens sit rooted at the foot of Ligue 1 with just one point from five games.
MAN CITY HE CAN’T DO IT AGAIN … CAN HE?
THE defending champions open their defence against Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad Tuesday night, with all eyes on whether Erling Haaland can maintain his prodigious efforts in the competition.
The Norwegian’s 52 goals last season included 12 in just 11 Champions League appearances as Pep Guardiola’s sideRead on irishexaminer.com