Treble winners Manchester City take on Premier League runners-up Arsenal in the 2023-24 curtain-raiser at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Here, we preview the game.

Arsenal vs Manchester City: Quick Hits

  • Manchester City are favourites to win this game, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 54.6% chance of victory, compared to 21.8% for Arsenal.
  • This will be the third Community Shield meeting between Manchester City and Arsenal; Arsenal have won the previous two – 4-0 at Highbury in 1934 and 3-0 at Wembley Stadium in 2014.
  • Arsenal have lost just two of their last 15 games at Wembley in all competitions (W9 D4), with both of those defeats coming in February 2018 (against Spurs in the Premier League and Manchester City in the League Cup final).

Match Preview

The 2023-24 season begins at 4pm UK time on Sunday as Manchester City take on Arsenal in the Community Shield. Usually, this game pits the winners of the Premier League against the FA Cup holders, but as City won both of those competitions (as well as the Champions League, of course), Arsenal jump in having been their closest challengers in the title race. There have been seven occasions of a double (or treble) winner competing in the Community Shield in the Premier League era, with those teams winning the season-opener in five out of seven attempts. The teams to fail to win the Community Shield after winning the double/treble were Manchester United in 1999 (beaten by Arsenal) and Chelsea in 2010 (beaten by United).

City have an exceptional record against Arsenal, and have already beaten Mikel Arteta’s side three times this year – twice in the Premier League and once in the FA Cup. Under Pep Guardiola, City have won 16 of their 19 meetings with Arsenal, including each of the last seven by an aggregate score of 21-4.

However, Arsenal’s only two wins over Guardiola’s City have both come at Wembley Stadium, in FA Cup semi-finals in 2017 and 2020. Hope after all for Arsenal on Sunday, then!

It’s a hugely exciting time to be an Arsenal fan, with the arrivals of Declan Rice, Jurriën Timber and Kai Havertz representing top-class additions to a squad that pushed City all the way in the title race last season. City, meanwhile, have only added Mateo Kovacic so far. They are starting from an even higher level than Arsenal, though, and still go into the season as favourites to win the title. If they do, they will become the first team in English top-flight history to win the league four times in a row.

City come into the game with doubts over Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Aké, who both missed the friendly win against Bayern Munich in Seoul last week. De Bruyne has been involved in eight goals in his last eight appearances against Arsenal in all competitions (6 goals, 2 assists), including five in his last two, and has also had a hand in six goals in his last eight club games at Wembley (1 goal, 5 assists), setting up both goals in their FA Cup final win against Man Utd in June. If he is missing it will be a massive boost to Arsenal’s hopes.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be without Gabriel Jesus, who misses the start of the 2023-24 campaign after Arteta revealed the striker had to undergo “a little procedure” on his knee at the beginning of this week.

Arsenal vs Manchester City Head-to-Head

City have beaten Arsenal three times in 2023 already and will come into this game confident of making it four in a row. They then face each other again in October in the league when, if City win at Wembley on Sunday, they could potentially be going for five calendar-year victories over Arsenal.

City are Arsenal’s biggest bogey team, and even last season when they were top of the league and playing well, they still capitulated against Guardiola’s side. In the meeting at the Emirates in February, Arsenal failed to make the most of their early dominance, and ended up losing 3-1. It is a monkey they need to get off their backs if they are to hunt City down and win the Premier League.

Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City match stats

Arsenal may take confidence into this game from the fact that their two wins over Guardiola’s City were both played at Wembley, but then again, even if they do win here, that won’t necessarily mean any kind of power shift that will translate to the league.

Recent Form

City ended last season in exceptional form, storming past Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, while also winning the FA Cup and Champions League finals against Manchester United and Inter Milan, respectively. They looked completely unstoppable in the latter stages of 2022-23, and proved to be incredible at dealing with high-pressure situations. The Community Shield will not be giving them any nightmares at all.

Arsenal fell away at the end of the season as William Saliba’s injury derailed their title challenge, suffering disappointing defeats to Brighton and Nottingham Forest, although there were still plenty of positives, including the win at Newcastle and the final-day thrashing of Wolves.

Both teams will be off their best in their first competitive fixture of the season, and their form from the end of last season may well count for nothing.

Arsenal vs Manchester City Prediction

Arsenal vs Manchester City prediction

The Opta supercomputer is backing City to extend their run of form against Arsenal with another win, giving them a 54.6% chance of making it eight wins in a row. They are the stronger of the two teams – even when taking into account Arsenal’s impressive summer business – and there’s little reason to doubt that they won’t be the same team, or something close to the team, that saw off any challenger at the end of 2022-23.

They scored seven goals in two Premier League meetings with Arsenal in February and April earlier this year, and clearly know how to break Arsenal down.

Arsenal only scored twice in those two games – once through a Bukayo Saka penalty and the other from centre-back Rob Holding from the second phase following a set-piece, so they will need to improve in attack if they are to end their poor run against Guardiola’s side. They did, however, create plenty of decent chances over those two games and it may just be a case of them showing a little more composure in the final third.

The supercomputer gives them just over a one-in-five (21.8%) chance of winning this game in 90 minutes, but add in the draw and they have a 45.4% chance of avoiding defeat, which makes this game feel not quite as one-sided as it might initially appear.

Enjoy this? Subscribe to our mailing list to receive exclusive weekly content. And follow us on Twitter too.