2023/24 Community Shield: Arsenal out to make a statement against Man City

By on August 5, 2023

Arsenal get the 2023/24 campaign underway when they take on Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon, kick-off 4pm.

After the heartache of last season when Arsenal narrowly missed out of the Premier League title after blowing a healthy lead, Mikel Arteta has vowed to make amends this season. The Gunners boss says the pain of missing the title last year still hurts but he and his squad are fully focused and motivated to put things right.

The clubs owners have certainly backed the Spaniard in the transfer market as Arsenal have spent over £200m on three major signings so far. Kai Havertz was first to arrive in a £65m deal from Chelsea and the German international has seemingly been signed as a replacement for Granit Xhaka in the box-t0-box midfield role. Arsenal’s lack of depth in defence cost them last season as their collapse coincided with William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu getting injured in late March. Arteta has looked to resolve this issue after splashing out around £38m on Jurrien Timber from Ajax and he looks to have settled well in north London.

However, undoubtedly the marquee signing of the summer has been the arrival of Declan Rice. Arsenal spent £105m to prise the England international away from West Ham after beating off competition from Man City and Bayern Munich for his signature. Rice should prove to be an excellent addition to the Gunners squad and he’s already set his sights on bringing trophies to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal are also expected to complete a £25m+ deal to sign goalkeeper David Raya from Brentford as competition to Aaron Ramsdale, while Arteta is hoping to bring in another forward during the closing weeks of the window as he needs support for Bukayo Saka on the right wing. Therefore, it’s clear Arsenal are showing real ambition to build a squad capable of competing with the likes of Man City for major honours this season.

Encouraging signs

All of Arsenal’s new signings appear to have settled well in North London. Timber has looked solid in defence during pre-season and has shown his versatility having played in multiple roles. Rice is already showing why Arteta was so keen to sign him while Havertz is hungry to prove people wrong after eyebrows were raised over his move to Arsenal. The German has scored 3 goals in 5 pre-season games so he’s not taken long to adapt to his new surrounding.

Arsenal kicked-off pre-season with a 1-1 draw against FC Nurnberg in Germany. Bukayo Saka scored the goal for Arsenal and it was a good run out for the Gunners before they flew out for their tour of the USA. Arsenal thrashed an MLS AllStar Xi in their first game on US soil. Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Gabriel Martinelli and Havertz were all on target for the Londoners as they ran riot in Washington.

Arsenal then travelled to New Jersey to take on arch rivals Manchester United at the MetLife Stadium. The Gunners put in a solid display but were undone by two mistakes at the back as United ran out 2-0 victors thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes. The Gunners finished the tour in style after beating La Liga champions Barcelona 5-3 in LA. Saka, Havertz, Trossard [2] and Fabio Vieira all found the back of the net in a thriller at the SofiStadium.

Arteta’s men flew back to London for the Emirates Cup where they were held to a 1-1 draw by Monaco. Eddie Nketiah scored his first goal of pre-season but it wasn’t enough to beat the Ligue 1 side. The Gunners won on penalties but Arteta would have been hoping for a better performances heading into the Community Shield this weekend.

Real test

Arsenal have done well in pre-season but they know the game against Man City will be a real test of where they are right now. Losing out to the Cityzens for the title last season hurt the squad badly and Arteta has called on his players to show they are hungry to go one better this season by beating their rivals at Wembley.

Pep Guardiola’s side won the treble last season having also lifted the FA Cup and Champions League as well as the Premier League, so there is no doubt they are the team to beat. They’ve lost some influential players with Ilkay Gundogan leaving for Barcelona while Riyad Mahrez has moved to Saudi Arabia, but City still have a formidable squad that will be more than good enough to challenge on all fronts once again this season.

Team news

Arsenal have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Gabriel Jesus is facing a spell on the sidelines after needing surgery on a knee injury. The Brazilian carried a knee problem last season and appears to have aggravated it in pre-season, so the decision was taken for him to undergo a ‘minor procedure’ on Friday. He’s now expected to be out for at least 4-5 weeks so Arsenal will be without their main striker for the opening weeks of the season.

Folarin Balogun has missed Arsenal’s last few games with an ankle injury and he’s a doubt for the Community Shield tomorrow. Reiss Nelson is also set to miss out but Saka is expected to return after missing the Monaco game due to illness.

Oleksandr Zinchenko could also return to the Arsenal squad after failing to feature lately in pre-season due to a niggling calf problem.

Manchester City have very few injury concerns to deal with ahead of the game. Kevin de Bruyne will be assessed by City’s medical staff after picking up a thigh injury in pre-season but he’s expected to be in the squad this weekend. Nathan Ake is the only other concern after he wasn’t risked for their last pre-season game.


Arsenal have sold out their allocation for the game at Wembley Stadium so we should see a packed red end. However, you can still buy tickets for the Man City section as several fan groups have opted to boycott the game in protest over the late kick-off.

I’m sure the Man City end will still be very busy as demand to watch Guardiola’s side is growing every year. Plus the majority of tickets go to corporates these days with clubs only given around 20% each of the available seats.

If you can’t get hold of a ticket to watch the game in person, the good news is it will be shown live on ITV.

Predicted score

Arsenal were excellent for much of last season and were a match for Man City for 90% of the campaign. They fell just short in the end but the big concern for Arteta will be how they fared in the games against Man City as the Cityzens won both league games as well as the EFL Cup match.

The Gunners have a woeful recent record against Man City and Arteta has acknowledged it’s time for his team to prove they can really compete with City by beating them at Wembley tomorrow.

Only time will tell if they manage it, but it should be a competitive game. I’m predicting a 1-1 draw in normal time with the game decided on penalties. It’s anyone’s guess how they will go…

Man City 1-1 Arsenal