Arsenal vs Manchester City: Line-ups
Tough Game Expected for Gunners
Arsenal come into this one with a strong pre-season under their belt. Barring the defeat against Manchester United in New Jersey, the Gunners have looked sharper with each passing game. Their latest was at the Emirates against AS Monaco, with Mikel Arteta’s side needing to win the penalty shootout arranged at the end of the clash.
Only one of the last 12 Community Shield winners have gone on to win the Premier League title. Manchester City showed that last season when they lost to Liverpool in this fixture. That game produced plenty of narratives regarding both sides. But when the campaign ended, the predictions contrasted enough to silence the critics.
Whether that fact comes to bite them in this game remains the question. But Guardiola cannot have qualms with similar complaints when the season begins for them five days after Sunday. The manager will hope to have his side’s fitness tested by Arsenal before they open the domestic season against Burnley on August 12, Friday.
Mikel Arteta will likely use this fixture as a drawing board to conduct more experiments. He has not had a consistent starting lineup throughout the pre-season, but he could make a bold statement of what’s to come against Forest in this Wembley clash.
There are some fitness issues with Manchester City, with Kevin De Bruyne yet to recover from the hamstring problem suffered during the Champions League Final. Nathan Ake has returned to fitness but is unlikely to start against Arsenal.
The prediction that Manchester City will win stems from the last many clashes the two teams have had. Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the Gunners in the title race last season and could showcase their superiority to lift the Community Shield. Yet, one should not underestimate Arsenal and their prowess. The Gunners were a young team compared to Manchester City’s experienced stars. They can grow, although whether they can showcase that maturity in the Community Shield remains the question. But Mikel Arteta’s side could put up a big fight on Sunday before losing narrowly.