Arteta's task at Arsenal gets no easier with champion Manchester City next

Arsenal travels north to Manchester after losing its two opening matches of the Premier League season.

FILE PHOTO: Arsenal has lost each of its last eight league meetings with Manchester City, its joint-longest run of consecutive defeats against a specific opponent in its history.   -  REUTERS

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's task does not get any easier with a trip to Premier League champion and former employer Manchester City next on the under-pressure coach's agenda.

Arsenal travels north to Manchester after losing its two opening matches of the Premier League season - at promoted Brentford and home to European champion Chelsea last weekend.

Despite ending last season with five straight league wins, Arsenal came eighth for the second campaign in a row, the first time it had finished that low in the table for consecutive seasons since a run of four between 1973-74 and 1976-77.

Saturday's trip to the Etihad Stadium, where Pep Guardiola got City's season up and running last weekend with a 5-0 thrashing of Norwich, and a ground where Arteta worked as an assistant coach between 2016-2019, is not ideal for the Spaniard.

READ | Pep Guardiola wants to coach a national team after Man City tenure ends

City is unbeaten in its last 11 league games against Arsenal since a 2-1 defeat at The Emirates in December 2015 and has taken 28 out of a possible 30 points against the Gunners under coach Pep Guardiola.

Arsenal has lost each of its last eight league meetings with City, its joint-longest run of consecutive defeats against a specific opponent in its history.

Arteta, however, is not panicking.

"I know they (fans) are disappointed when you lose at home. There has to be some reaction. But this is a project that is going to take some time," he told Arsenal's website this week.

"You can see and tell from the recruitment what we've done and the really young squad that we have at the moment and it (improvement) cannot happen overnight."

City was dealt a transfer blow this week with target Harry Kane declaring he will stay at Tottenham Hotspur as the champion remains without a replacement for its all-time top scorer Sergio Aguero, who left for Barcelona in the close season.

Guardiola's side has been linked in British media with a sensational move for Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo, but nothing has materialised as yet.

One team very much on the up is Arsenal's London rival Chelsea, who also heads north, to Liverpool, for a tough encounter on Saturday.

Club-record signing Romelu Lukaku hit the ground running last weekend on his second Chelsea debut in a 2-0 win at Arsenal and is set to lead the line against a Liverpool team revitalised by the return of Virgil van Dijk in the heart of defence.

ALSO READ | Harry Kane confirms he will stay at Tottenham this summer

Liverpool and Chelsea have started the 2021-22 league campaign with two wins, two clean sheets and five goals scored, with the pair looking primed to challenge City for the title.

Manchester United will look on Sunday to continue its unbeaten start to the season when it travels to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who is without a point so far.

Top of the table West Ham United is favourite to make it three wins from three on Saturday against Crystal Palace, but Viera's side travels to the London Stadium having lost just twice in its last eight visits.

Brighton & Hove Albion will also look to maintain its perfect start against Rafael Benitez's Everton on Saturday, while Tottenham Hotspur will expect to extend its 100% record at home to promoted Watford.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :