Premier League champions Manchester City will take on FA Cup winners Chelsea in this year’s FA Community Shield on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola will be leading his side out onto the Wembley turf for the third time, whilst the new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri will be on the touchline for his first competitive game for the Blues. The game is likely to be a close call – with both sides missing influential players.
Here we take a look at four potential key battles which could see the game won by either side:
4. Leroy Sane vs Cesar Azpilicueta
Sane must be wondering what he did wrong to not secure a place in Germany’s World Cup squad, who went crashing out at the first hurdle this summer. But with a full pre season under his belt with Guardiola in the US, he will once again be raring to go looking to improve on last seasons record breaking campaign.
This could certainly be the battle of the tie, with Azpilicueta likely reverting back to right-back in a four man defence under new boss Sarri.
The Spanish defender will definitely be up for the challenge of stopping the young German winger who’s movement and skill has blown defenders away in the past.
3. Jorginho vs Bernardo Silva
Jorginho was tipped with a move throughout the summer to the Premier League champions, so this could be a good opportunity for him to show Guardiola what he has missed out on.
With a barely recognisable midfield for City, Silva may have to take up the role of David Silva or Kevin De Bruyne and drop into the centre, as those two will inevitably be missing on Sunday as they look to build their fitness.
Jorginho is already being raved about by the Blues fans as the midfielder has an unbelievable passing record thus far in pre-season, which they hope he can emulate in the Premier League. But the Italian midfielder will also have the role of stopping one of the creative sparks for City in Silva who likes to dribble, play a pass and also fire pinpoint shots from distance which we saw last season.
2. Alvaro Morata vs Aymeric Laporte
Alvaro Morata wasn’t able to get the ground running as much as he’d have liked last season in a Chelsea shirt, and with a weakened backline he can look to get his season up and running early with a couple of goals against City.
Aymeric Laporte will likely be the man to mark the Spanish forward who had a mare in last seasons Community Shield, and he would like to have an easy days work which could spiral himself up the pecking order as the season draws near.
This battle could decide the game with both players physical and sharp, it will be certainly be interesting to see who will come out on top.
1. Maurizio Sarri vs Pep Guardiola
As Sarri graces the English game for the first time this Sunday, he will look to come out on top against a very weakened Guardiola side who still has a number of players to return from the World Cup.
With both managers taking positives from their pre-season results so far, they will both want to win the first piece of silverware available at the start of the season.
Sarri could win the Blues fans over early on in his reign if he is able to pull off a good performance as well as a result against this formidable City side, as managers have always found it hard to win over the Stamford Bridge crowd and find themselves under pressure early on.