Arsenal take on Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley today in the final tune up match before the Premier League season begins next weekend. It’s not entirely a tune up match — there is silverware on the line. The Gunners have won the Community Shield outright 15 times, the second most of any club (Manchester United have won 17). City have won just 6.
Manchester City are the final hurdle for Arsenal, Pep Guardiola Mikel Arteta’s white whale. The road to the Premier League title goes through Manchester City, and this season, Arsenal will have to better dropping all six points to City if they want to be crowned champions. Even though this is technically a preseason match, expect regular season intensity from the sides. Of course regardless of the result, the losing side (or their supporters) will point to the fact that the match doesn’t count, but I think everyone involved will want to lay down a marker. City to show that they’re still top dogs, Arsenal to show that their summer additions and another year of maturity will provide the final push to get over the hump.
Speaking of those signings, all three start for Mikel Arteta’s side. It looks as if Kai Havertz, and not Eddie Nketiah, will be leading the line, which comes as a bit of surprise given Arteta’s steadfast reliance on Nketiah during Gabriel Jesus’ absence last season. I like the move from Arteta. You know what you’ve got with Nketiah. You might as well try Havertz up top in a match that doesn’t truly matter to see how things look.
Declan Rice will be in the left eight, and Jurrien Timber the inverting left back. Jorginho misses out with a slight muscle issue. Matt Turner, rumored to be close to a move to Nottingham Forest, starts on the bench.
Both Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, both rumored to be close to / angling for Manchester City exits, start for Pep Guardiola’s side. Nathan Ake misses out with injury. Kevin De Bruyne, who has been dealing with injury issues all summer, starts on the bench and is unlikely to get more than a brief run-out (if he even gets that). New signing Joško Gvardiol does not make the matchday squad.
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Community Shield
WHERE: Wembley Stadium
WHEN: Sunday, August 6th 8 am PT | 11 am ET | 4 pm BT
US TV: Streaming on ESPN+ ($)
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Arsenal - Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Timber, Partey, Rice, Ødegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Havertz
⚪️— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 6, 2023
All three summer signings start - Come on you Gunners! ✊ pic.twitter.com/UpXea0E7sQ
Manchester City - Ortega Moreno, Walker, Stones, Dias, Akanji, Rodrigo, Kovacic, Bernardo, Grealish, Alvarez, Haaland
Your first City XI of 23/24— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 6, 2023
XI | Ortega Moreno, Walker (C), Stones, Dias, Akanji, Rodrigo, Kovacic, Bernardo, Grealish, Alvarez, Haaland
SUBS | Ederson, Phillips, Laporte, De Bruyne, Gomez, Foden, Palmer, Lewis, McAtee#ManCity | @etihad pic.twitter.com/tEUjG2vhyq