Manchester City seeks to get their season underway with a win against their biggest rival from last season but can the Gunners get one over the Cityzens? (Photo credit: GOAL)
The Community ShieldManchester City vs. ArsenalWembley Stadium4:00pm
|Manchester City seeks to get their season underway with a win against their biggest rival from last season but can the Gunners get one over the Cityzens? (Photo credit: GOAL)|
The long wait is over, football is back, and we can’t wait to get back into the groove. Ladies and gentlemen, lovers of English football, it’s matchday!
The traditional curtain raiser in England is upon us; it is the Community Shield Cup that is played between the FA Cup winner and the Premier League champions, but in this context, both competitions went to the same team; hence, the slot goes to the runner-up in the league.
Arsenal played Manchester City three times last season and lost on all occasions. Manchester City usurped Arsenal to retain their league title while also beating the Gunners 1-0 on their way to the FA Cup title.
The treble winners didn’t start pre-season early, but they enjoyed a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich and should be in fine shape when Pep Guardiola leads the team out at Wembley on Sunday. Arsenal, on the other hand, won’t have any excuse.
The Gunners enjoyed a tour to the USA, where they lost 2-0 to Manchester United before beating Barcelona 5-3 in a tempestuous encounter. Arsenal rounded off their pre-season journey with a penalty shootout win over Lille in their annual Emirates Cup.
Arsenal has strengthened with notable additions in the midfield and defence. Jurien Timber joined from Ajax to offer defensive depth, while Kai Havertz joined from Chelsea, as well as the arrival of record signing Declan Rice.
Arsenal fans will have a glimpse of what the season will look like when they step onto the pitch on Sunday, with many expecting all their new signings to feature, but what would the midfield look like with Thomas Partey and Jorginho still in town?
Manchester City bade farewell to Ilkay Gundogan, who moved to Barcelona on a free transfer, and Riyad Mahrez, who left for Saudi Arabia. The future of Bernardo Silva is not clear yet, but the Portuguese want to leave; Joao Cancelo is also likely to leave, and we’ll see how things unfold.
The champions have already brought in Matteo Kovacic to replace Gundogan, and Josko Gvardiol is in from RB Leipzig. A few academy kids are expected to have their breakout season in the coming campaign, but one still expects City to reinforce.
Erling Haaland broke all sorts of records last season; he will be the player to look out for on Sunday, while Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka is expected to continue from where he stopped last season. The Shield Cup is upon us, and we can’t wait!