Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Cardiff v Arsenal

The BBC pundit thinks Neil Warnock will have his Cardiff side fired up for Sunday’s visit of Arsenal.

Unai Emery
New Arsenal head coach Unai Emery Photo: Screengrab

Mark Lawrenson has suggested that Arsenal’s newer players face a new challenge when they travel to Cardiff to take on Neil Warnock’s latest Premier League side on Sunday.

Under new boss Unai Emery, Arsenal have taken just three points from their opening three games this season.

Despite besting West Ham last time out, Arsenal’s defence has look far from assured and Lawrenson believes they face a novel test in South Wales.

“Arsenal… interesting,” he said on his BBC Sport Premier League predictions column.

“Goals are not a problem for them, but it will be a culture shock for some of the new players going to Cardiff.

“However, I think they have enough.”

Arsenal spent £71.1m on five new defensive players as part of Emery’s overhaul of the squad after he replaced Arsene Wenger.

However, Emery is easing the new signings in with only centre-half Sokratis Papastathopolous, the £14.4m signing from Borussia Dortmund playing ever Premier League minute so far.

Matteo Guendouzi, the £7.2m central-midfielder signed from FC Lorient, has unexpectedly had a lot of game time and has brought energy to Arsenal’s all-too static midfield. He could provide Emery with energy to match their opponents should he feature.

Warnock led Cardiff back to the Premier League through the automatic promotion places last season.

On a restricted budget, they managed to keep free-spending Fulham and Aston Villa at bay to avoid the play-offs.

Warnock relishes being written off, which he has once again been this season, and his Bluebirds will believe they can upset the odds and disrupt Arsenal’s new signings.

Lawrenson added: “Cardiff know they will be scrapping for points all season.

“They will give everything they’ve got, and they have a manager who knows how to get them going.”

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