Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will be fielding a strong side today when his team face Premier League rivals Manchester City in their final pre-season game before the start of the new Premier League campaign.
The Gunners face Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on the opening day of the season, whilst Manchester City host Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium, which will be Manuel Pelligrini’s first Premier League game since taking over from Roberto Mancini.
The side sides will meet each other today in a pre-season friendly in Finland, much like they did last year, and the Arsenal boss has revealed that he will be playing a strong team and the starting-11 he does pick today, will be similar to the one he picks when his side face Villa next weekend.
“It is not necessarily [the team that will face Villa] because players like Rosicky are not here and one or two players have little muscular problems – but it will be close,” Wenger said.
“I consider that I have 16 regular players and no matter who starts or does not [against City], they will be considered for a start against Aston Villa.
“For us it’s a good opportunity to play against Man City. What is important is to have a good competition level one week before the season starts.
“Ideally, it’s always better not to travel too much but we travelled in fantastic conditions and we cannot complain. We are happy to come to Helsinki and play this kind of game.”
Arsene Wenger is also aware of the danger the City side have, but he admits to being excited to come up against Pelligrini.
“It’s hard because they buy good players of course, but it’s exciting and stimulating as well,” he said. “We have a different philosophy and it’s an interesting way for neutral people to see how we compare.
“The fact the stadium is sold out is very good news, it shows how popular the Premier Legaue is. That is fantastic because it will add something to the game.”