Manchester City won the treble last season so will contend Sunday’s Community Shield against last season’s Premier League runners-up Arsenal (10:50 a.m. ET, stream live on ESPN+). But after a summer of upheaval, transfers and tours on foreign soil, how will each side match up? And does it mean anything before the season starts on Aug. 11? For the first time in a while there are questions about the Manchester City squad. Mateo Kovacic has come in but Ilkay Gundogan has left for Barcelona and Riyad Mahrez has moved to Saudi Arabia. There are also doubts about the futures of Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo and Kalvin Phillips. Pep Guardiola’s mantra has usually been that he won’t keep players who are unhappy, but he can’t afford a mass exodus this summer. A £77.6 million ($98m) deal for RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol is dragging on, and if it doesn’t get done, you could argue that City will be weaker this season than last.
Arsenal will face Manchester City on Sunday in the 2023 FA Community Shield. The Community Shield is English football’s annual match that is contested between the previous season’s Premier League and FA Cup winners. It is the final game before the official start of the Premier League season next week on August 11. Arsenal are playing City after they finished as runners-up of the Premier League and Pep Guardiola’s side won the FA Cup. This year’s game will be the first time the two teams have met in the fixture since 2014, where the north London side, then-managed by Arsene Wenger, recorded a 3-0 victory over Manuel Pellegrini’s City, thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, and Olivier Giroud. It is also the first time the sides will face each other since City pipped Arsenal to the Premier League title last season. Wembley Stadium hosts the traditional Premier League curtain-raiser on Sunday afternoon, as Arsenal and Manchester City renew hostilities with the Community Shield on the line.
The Citizens enter the showdown on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid in their most recent friendly, while their North London counterparts retained the Emirates Cup by beating Monaco. As Pep Guardiola’s treble winners revelled in their unrestrained celebrations earlier in the summer, Arsenal were able to quietly cheer the consolation prize of a place in the Community Shield courtesy of their second-placed finish in the 2022-23 Premier League campaign. As Pep Guardiola’s treble winners revelled in their unrestrained celebrations earlier in the summer, Arsenal were able to quietly cheer the consolation prize of a place in the Community Shield courtesy of their second-placed finish in the 2022-23 Premier League campaign. Arsenal’s love affair with the Community Shield is therefore well-documented, but Arteta will be under no illusions that his charges will possess the underdog tag against Man City, even if the Sky Blues’ preparations for the new term leave something to be desired. On the back of their terrific trio of trophies in a historic 2022-23 season, Man City embarked on a tour of Japan and South Korea, opening with an eight-goal win over Yokohama F. Marinos despite being breached three times on the day.