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Treble winners Man City meet their former assistant manager Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium. It is a battle between the top two in the Premier League from last season, after Arsenal led the league for the most part of the season, until numerous poor results saw City wrap the title up with time to spare.
In the last nine years of the competition City have taken on Arsenal six times, with Arsenal winning four times and City twice. Some would describe the game as more of a friendly, however, due to the rivalry between the two teams, this game is going to be a chance for one side to get a big boost of confidence for the upcoming season.
Despite the close battle for the title last season, the results between the two teams have been pretty one-sided, Man City have won their last eight in a row, to an aggregate score of 21-4. Arsenal have been making some huge moves in the summer, Declan Rice was signed for £105 million to replace Granit Xhaka, as well as Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber joining the frame as the Gunners look to go one better than last term.
Man City vs Arsenal Predicted Lineups
Haaland leads the line to send early statement
Pep Guardiola will have to be careful with his side as they face Burnley in the Premier League opener just five days after this one, however, it’s expected that he will still go full strength to get his players ready for the season. New signing Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea may start in the middle of the pitch, but it is very unlikely Josko Gvardiol will play any part.
Record breaker Erling Haaland will lead the line, with Jack Grealish, Foden and Bernardo Silva all playing off him in the attack, likely to cause havoc for Arsenal’s defence.
Nketiah chance to shine as Jesus picks up injury
Gabriel Jesus picked up a knee injury during Arsenal’s preseason and will miss the start of the season, giving another chance for Eddie Nketiah to shine in the number nine role. Rice and Timber are expected to make their first competitive starts, as well as Takehiro Tomiyasu in left back instead of Oleksandr Zinchenko. Arsenal are expected to play as full strength as possible, as star players Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli start on either wing.
mAN cITY Vs aRSENAL Players to watch
Kovacic keen to prove himself on debut
Mateo Kovacic will be keen to show Pep that he can fill the role of Ilkay Gundogan, who left City for Barcelona this summer. In this City team Kovacic will be allowed to play freely, getting forward in and around the area and he will be dangerous from cutbacks. Look out for him popping up on the edge of the box for a free shot at some points in the match.
Eddie Nketiah will create chances
When Gabriel Jesus suffered a long term injury in January, Nketiah was tasked with filling the boots to help Arsenal to continue their astonishing run. When he was given the chance, he was far from consistent, however in certain games he showed that he could lead the line effectively and score goals. His sharp feet in the box and ability to lose defenders is a key part of is game, and if he can receive the ball in the box with his back to goal, he has the ability to make a chance from nothing.
Man City vs Arsenal Matchups to Watch
Jack Grealish to cause problems for Tomiyasu
If Tomiyasu starts in the left back role for Arsenal, Grealish will have the chance to do what he does best and run at him, and if he can do that he certainly has the ability to beat him. The England international always plays with his heart on his sleeve and his commitment to the cause will not waver, despite it being a smaller priority fixture.
Saka against Akanji will be a fascinating battle
By now, everyone knows that Saka can beat any defender in the world with his close control and tricky feet, however last season he seemed to struggle to get the beating of the Man City defence. He will be keen to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and they will be searching for him whenever they can.
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