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Arsenal v Manchester City: Gunners left-back legend Nigel Winterburn hails Ainsley Maitland-Niles

PUBLISHED: 14:55 12 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:15 12 August 2018

Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles

PA Wire/PA Images

Legendary Arsenal left-back Nigel Winterburn has been speaking about Ainsley Maitland-Niles ahead of kick-off between the Gunners and Manchester City at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

The eagerly-awaited Premier League opener for both sides will see new head coach Unai Emery take on old La Liga rival Pep Guardiola in North London.

However, the former PSG boss has injury worries at left-back with regular left-back Nacho Monreal short of match fitness while Sead Kolasinac is out until October at the earliest.

Legendary defender Wingterburn, who played for Arsenal across three decades winning a host of silverware under George Graham and Arsene Wenger, believes Maitland-Niles will excel against the champions.

The versatile 20-year-old has played as a defensive midfielder, wing-back, and in a more attacking role, but Emery has picked him to start at left-back against City.

Speking at the Arsenal Hub in association with Play With A Legend events, Winterburn said: “I would go with Maitland Niles. He’s got plenty of pace which is what you need against Manchester City.

“He would give the back four pace. The two full backs will have pace {Maintland-Niles and Hector Bellerin].

“It’s always risky when you produce a player and they look ok position-wise in training – for example Danny Welbeck [filling in at left-back position this week at London Colney as revealed by Emery].

“But the movement at match-day pace is completely different.

“I’ll be absolutely shocked if he doesn;t play lef-back today.

“When you need pace against a side who have quick players it’s alway good to use a player who offers you pace – which he can offer.”

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