Connect with us

Match Coverage

Mateo Kovacic debut and Kyle Walker to start! – Predicted XI: Arsenal vs Manchester City (FA Community Shield) 



| Last Updated:


Manchester City’s 2023/24 campaign starts on Sunday against Arsenal in the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium. 

Pep Guardiola’s side boast a formidable recent record against the Gunners, with Manchester City beating Arsenal to the Premier League title last season as part of a landmark treble. 

The Premier League was the first of three trophies for the Blues during the previous campaign, as Manchester City also lifted both the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. 

City have prepared for the new season with three friendly matches in Asia, and concluded the tour with a defeat to Atletico Madrid in South Korea last weekend. 

Mateo Kovacic, who signed from Chelsea, made his Manchester City debut in east Asia earlier this month, and could make his first competitive start this weekend. 

Fellow Croatian international Josko Gvardiol has also completed a move to the Etihad Stadium, however the 21-year-old isn’t expected to feature in the FA Community Shield. 

Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva have both been heavily linked with potential exits, but the treble-winning pair will be expected to be involved against Arsenal. 

Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan were the goalscorers on Manchester City’s past two visits to Wembley, however both left the club during the summer transfer window, signing for Al-Ahli and Barcelona respectively. 

Ahead of Sunday’s FA Community Shield clash, here is how we predict Manchester City to line-up against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. 

Predicted XI

Stefan Ortega had an impressive debut campaign for Manchester City last season, and Sunday’s fixture could provide another opportunity for the German goalkeeper, who made a series of crucial saves in the FA Cup Final in June. 

Despite continued question marks surrounding his future, Kyle Walker can be expected to start and captain Manchester City this weekend, playing in the regular right-back position. 

Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji look set to make up the centre-back pairing; meanwhile Nathan Ake, who’s goal knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup last season, is likely to play at left-back for the Blues. 

Rodri can be expected to start in midfield against Arsenal, after an underwhelming series of showings from Kalvin Phillips in pre-season. 

Mateo Kovacic could make his competitive debut for Manchester City versus the Gunners, partnering Phil Foden in central midfield. 

Erling Haaland scored just one goal in his final eight appearances last season, and the 23-year-old will be hoping to open his account for the new campaign with a goal at Wembley Stadium this weekend. 

Julian Alvarez netted against Liverpool in the Community Shield last year, with one expecting to see the Argentinian occupy a wide role on Sunday afternoon. 

On the opposite wing, Jack Grealish will likely start, making his 90th appearance for Manchester City. 

Predicted XI: Ortega, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodri, Kovacic, Foden, Alvarez, Grealish, Haaland. 

Substitutes: Ederson, Stones, Laporte, Phillips, Cancelo, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Gomez, Perrone, Lewis, McAtee.