Arsenal vs. Manchester City: How Gunners Will Line Up in Community Shield

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Arsenal vs. Manchester City: How Gunners Will Line Up in Community Shield
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Although the Community Shield is ostensibly a friendly match, it does give fans an intriguing chance to see how their team will line up in the coming season. Arsenal supporters are eager to catch a glimpse of their new-look XI. 

In truth, this game won’t be the best indicator as to how Arsene Wenger envisions deploying his team throughout the season. The Frenchman is not yet able to choose from a full complement of players.

In goal, Wojciech Szczesny will certainly start. Wenger might have considered using this game to hand an opportunity to new boy David Ospina, but the Colombian is likely to miss the match with a minor injury. Szczesny will presumably be delighted to edge ahead in the race for the No. 1 shirt.

The back four will have a less familiar feel. Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny are both likely to start, but they’ll be joined in the defensive unit by two new signings.

With Thomas Vermaelen heading swiftly toward the exit door, and Per Mertesacker recovering from his prolonged World Cup campaign, Calum Chambers will be pressed into immediate service as a centre-half. It will be a significant test for the youngster, who has played all his senior football to date as a right-back. 

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Speaking of right-backs, this will be another chance for Arsenal fans to catch Mathieu Debuchy in action. Signed from Newcastle as the successor to Bacary Sagna, Debuchy’s experience against Premier League opposition will be vital as Arsene Wenger attempts to construct a stable enough back four to keep Manchester City at bay.

In midfield, Wenger is likely to go for experience. Mikel Arteta is a certain starter and may be formally christened as Arsenal captain on the occasion. He might be joined by Mathieu Flamini. Both players enjoyed a summer of rest and should be among the freshest members of the Arsenal squad. 

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At the point of the midfield triangle will be Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman has also felt the benefit of a summer of rest and has been the Gunners’ best player in preseason. As the most advanced of the midfield three, he will be granted the freedom to join up with the attack whenever he sees fit. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks the most likely man to play from the left. He bounced back from the disappointment of failing to appear in Brazil with a pair of outstanding displays in the Emirates Cup. His pace and energy give Arsenal a menacing outlet on the left flank.

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Wenger will be hoping for Alexis Sanchez to do the same on the right. The Chilean is the star signing of Arsenal’s summer, and his appearance at Wembley will generate huge excitement among the Arsenal fans.

Although Sanchez may end up playing through the middle for the Gunners, he is likely to begin his career in English football as a wide man. Until Theo Walcott completes his recuperation from a cruciate ligament injury, Arsenal will need Sanchez's speed and skill on the wing. 

The line will probably be led by Yaya Sanogo, who stated his credentials with a four-goal haul against Benfica in the Emirates Cup. With Olivier Giroud behind in his preparation, Wenger will hope Sanogo can continue that goalscoring form against City.

Potential Arsenal XI for the Community Shield

The above XI is missing a fleet of stars but still has the requisite strength to take on the might of City.

James McNicholas is Bleacher Report’s lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2014-15 season. Follow him on Twitter here.

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