Community Shield preview: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Premier League holders Manchester City entertain FA Cup champions Chelsea in this weekend’s Community Shield at the Wembley Stadium. Both teams go into the game with several first-team regulars on vacation following their World Cup exploits, but City are certainly looking the weaker outfit among the two with the majority of their title-winning squad yet to report for training. City’s previous appearance in the Shield saw them lose to Arsenal in 2014 whilst Chelsea have suffered a similar rate to the Gunners in the 2015 and 2017 editions.

What happened in the previous meeting?

The previous meeting between the teams was at the Etihad Stadium in March this year where City secured a 1-0 triumph. The match was entirely one-sided with the Blues opting for an ultra-defensive approach and the sole goal of the game was scored by Bernardo Silva in the second period. The Blues failed to register a single shot on target in the game whilst Ilkay Gundogan broke the Premier League record for the most of number of individual passes (174) in a single game.

Players to watch for:

Leroy Sane – Manchester City: The Germany international received a huge heartbreak over the summer after he was surprisingly excluded by Joachim Loew for the World Cup. As such, he will be desperate to start the season on a strong note and there is nothing better than securing an early triumph over a direct league competitor. On his day, Sane can pose a threat to any defender with his quick distribution and dribbling skills and he and Bernardo Silva could be influential towards City securing the Shield.

Alvaro Morata – Chelsea: With Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud still on vacation, Morata remains the sole senior striker present in the club’s ranks. As such, the Spaniard is very much guaranteed his place upfront but it will be interesting to see whether he can shake off his patchy form in front of goal. Morata was the subject of criticism from the club’s faithful after missing a penalty during the recent International Champions Cup defeat to Arsenal and another average showing would surely speed up the Blues’ pursuit of a new marksman.

Prediction:

Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea

Image – Getty