Good afternoon and welcome to our live blog of The Traditional Curtain Raiser TM. It’s the League Champions from last season against… well, it would have been the FA Cup winners but as we of course all know, Manchester City won that as well, so it’s the League runners-up, Arsenal, who will contest this friendly-ish fixture.

The kick off at Wembley will be at 4pm.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has expressed his concern about the demands on players in light of changes such as an expanded Club World Cup and more time being added on in games.

After winning the Champions League to complete their treble last term, City will compete in December’s Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia - what is planned to be the final edition featuring seven teams, with the next a 32-side competition taking place in the United States in the summer of 2025.

Meanwhile, the significant increase in time added on seen at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, designed to tackle timewasting, is something set to apply to Premier League matches this season.

Speaking ahead of his side opening their 2023-24 campaign with the Community Shield clash against Arsenal, Guardiola said: “I know at the end of next season, we are going to make a (Club) World Cup in the United States after finishing the season, two or three more weeks. That means the holidays will be 15 days or maybe three weeks.

“I think it doesn’t exist already, pre-seasons. The problem is here (touching his head) - exhausted. Look already how many players are injured in pre-season, in bad conditions, humidity, hot, the pitches are not really good, especially in the States.

“It is what it is, so we have to adapt, adjust - but it is not normal.

“Now, for example, every game we’re going to play for 100 minutes. Wasting time - from my point of view it is not going to be solved by extending 10 more minutes. It’s more tiring for the players. It’s too much.

“FIFA, UEFA - more competitions. The World Cup - more teams. This (Club) World Cup - I don’t know how many teams.

“I don’t know what (is going to happen) in the future, for the players, even the managers, to prepare. That’s why you have to see exactly how much you demand of the players.

“Every day, season by season, it’s difficult to handle for the players. They love to play but they need also recovery, with the stress and tension they have. They make a show like they do in front of 55-60,000 people - that is a lot of energy, mental energy, and every week, to do it, is a lot.

“But every year is getting worse and worse, and will be worse. I don’t know how it is going to end, honestly.”

So, welcome to the new season! Millionaires moaning, but the action will get underway soon and I’m sure it will be a roister-doister affair.