Monday 19 August 2019

Emery expecting different challenge from Rodgers as Arsenal face Leicester

The pair have met before, in the group stage of the Champions League in 2017 when Emery was in charge of Paris St Germain and Rodgers at Celtic.

Unai Emery (pictured) faced former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers when he was Paris St Germain boss (Peter Byrne/PA)
Unai Emery (pictured) faced former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers when he was Paris St Germain boss (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport

Unai Emery has enjoyed his previous clashes with Brendan Rodgers but is expecting a different challenge when he takes his Arsenal side to face Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday.

The pair have met before, in the group stage of the Champions League in 2017 when Emery was in charge of Paris St Germain and Rodgers at Celtic.

Emery’s side ran roughshod over the Scottish champions, winning 5-0 at Parkhead and racking up a 7-1 victory in the French capital.

Any sort of win would suit Emery at the King Power Stadium this time out as he looks to keep the Gunners in the chase to finish in the top four.

But the Spaniard, who also has a Europa League semi-final against Valencia coming up, knows his previous successes against Rodgers will count for nothing in the East Midlands this weekend.

“It was very different for both of us,” said Emery.

“He’s a good coach, he has experience here in England and good performances. He is doing positive things in football as a coach.

“The gap is closer between Arsenal and Leicester. They won the league three years ago and they have a lot of the same players from when they won. And now they have a good feeling and confidence.

“At home they are going to feel strong with their supporters. I think it’s going to be closer – the possibility to win, for them and for us – compared to PSG against Celtic.”

Emery was coming to the end of his successful reign at Sevilla when Leicester won the Premier League title in 2016, with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal finishing a distance second.

He remains impressed by the Foxes – even if he is now keen to keep Leicester behind his side in the table.

“When I was in Spain, I look at this victory in the Premier League like a positive,” he said.

“A big club but small in comparison to Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester, Arsenal, Tottenham. Now I am here, I don’t want a surprise from them. I prefer they be behind us.

“But they have players that the best teams in England and Europe and the world can sign. For example (Jamie) Vardy, (Harry) Maguire, (Ben) Chilwell. I think this is good for the Premier League.”

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