Manchester City have a big challenge ahead of them. Yet another one. Arsenal are the first obstacle in Pep Guardiola's path in his eighth season in the Etihad dugout. A season that could be historic, which it already is for the treble, but he is on course for a sextet if he wins the three remaining titles (Community Shield, European Super Cup and Club World Cup).
This is what you call starting the season with a main course, with no time for appetizers. A City-Arsenal game on the sixth of August (from 17:00 at Wembley), just five days before the 2023/2024 Premier League season kicks off.
And Guardiola will not want to miss the opportunity to add another title to his trophy cabinet (that would be number 15) and keep the dream of the sextuple alive. He is keen to do it again, as he did in 2009 at Barça. They are the big favourites.
With Josko Gvardiol as a new signing, Manchester City go into the League Cup final hungry for silverware and with a squad that is undergoing a transformation. With Ilkay Gündogan and Riyad Mahrez gone, Kovacic and Gvardiol have arrived, the latter having only been unveiled a few hours ago. There are new signings, such as Crystal Palace's young winger Michael Olise, who could be on the way.
On their pre-season tour of Asia, Guardiola's side have played three friendlies with two wins and just one defeat: Yokohama Marinos (3-5), Bayern Munich (2-1) and Atletico Madrid (1-2). Cholo Simeone's side were able to overcome City in a duel where the most interesting thing was the duel between Cesar Azpilicueta and Jack Grealish.
They will be up against an Arsenal side who are hungry for revenge, aware that those 'aliens' dressed in light blue snatched the Premier League title from their grasp and now want to play the role of spoilers. Mikel Arteta arrives boosted by the signings that have strengthened the Gunners' squad, with names such as Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.
In their respective summer tour, the north Londoners travelled to the United States to play MLS All Star (5-0 win), Manchester United (2-0 defeat) and FC Barcelona (5-3 win). Just three days ago they hosted Monaco in the Emirates Cup, a trophy that is played annually in their stadium, which they ended up losing on penalties. The absence of Gabriel Jesus could have a big impact on Arteta's plans. We will see what solution he finds.
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