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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Community Shield: Arsenal and Manchester City Renew Rivalry at Wembley

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Arsenal will be determined to prove they can once again challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title when the two sides meet in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.

The traditional season curtain-raiser sees champions City face runners-up Arsenal.

Arsenal led the Premier League table for 248 days in 2022-23, the most for a team who failed to win the title in English top-flight history.

Their challenge fell away as City finished in imperious form while injuries and fatigue took their toll on the Gunners.

Fans will have wanted to see some big moves in the summer transfer window to prove the challenge was not a one-off, and they have certainly done that.

England midfielder Declan Rice is the standout signing for Arsenal, having arrived from West Ham for £100m.

His arrival followed the recruitment of Germany international Kai Havertz from Chelsea in a £65m deal and Netherlands defender Jurrien Timber from Ajax for a fee which could rise to £38.5m.

Manchester City, meanwhile, have made two significant signings so far this summer with Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic arriving from Chelsea for an initial £25m and his international team-mate, defender Josko Gvardiol, joining for £77m from RB Leipzig.

City finished five points clear of Arsenal last term so the need to strengthen was less pressing than it was for the Gunners, although they did lose captain Ilkay Gundogan.

The midfielder played a key role in City’s Treble win, scoring 11 goals in 52 games, and although he was offered a new deal at Etihad Stadium, he opted to join Barcelona.

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