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Can he keep the Emirates faithful behind him?
Arsenal couldn't have asked for a tougher start (on paper) to the season. Here's how they kick things off:
Well, I'll be contrary and say that I don't think it's such a tricky beginning actually. Last season, Arsenal played their best football against the top teams, when it seemed like their players really lifted their performances.
Opening day takes them to the scene of their biggest meltdown last season, St James's Park, home of the infamous 4-4 collapse. Newcastle have had troubles of their own this summer, and I expect Arsenal to win this game, and 2-0 is my guess. Yes, a clean sheet too!!
Liverpool visit the Emirates next, and with King Kenny in charge, they'll be firing on all cylinders. I don't think they'll have enough to beat Arsenal, though, so my prediction is for a 2-2 stalemate.
Arsenal then visit Old Trafford for arguably their toughest fixture of the season, but contrary to popular belief, I think they'll upset the apple cart and get all three points.
I believe the underdog tag will suit them to a tee. Look for a late winner from Chamakh to nick a 1-0 for the Gunners. Brickbats invited.
Players: Robin van Persie has been on fire in preseason, and I expect him to carry this form into the opening rounds. Every Arsenal fan must be praying for his continued fitness because he has shown in the last two seasons that if he is fit, he will score and assist.
Aaron Ramsey will need to step into the immense shoes of Cesc Fabregas, and I feel he will be up to the task. Andrey Arshavin, too, will up his work-rate, and his output as compared to last season and get the Emirates faithful on-side again.
At the back, Thomas Vermaelen will be wanting to make up for all the time lost due to his Achilles injury, and he and 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny will both play crucial roles.
My dark horse for these opening weeks is Arsenal's forgotten man, Tomas Rosicky. He's looked really sharp in preseason, and I believe he will surprise a few people.