Chelsea face Manchester City in the Community Shield tomorrow at Wembley Stadium. The traditional curtain raiser to the new season pits the previous year’s Premier League champions against the FA Cup winners in a trophy match. Despite the fact that silverware is at stake, many still regard the clash at the national stadium as a glorified friendly.
They certainly have a strong case, and this match-up takes on even more of a preseason exhibition feel in a World Cup summer. For both of these big money, big six power houses, several major stars and key players won’t be available.
That’s because many are just getting back from/still yet to return from their post World Cup holidays, and aren’t integrated into the new season’s team/totally 90 minutes match fit right now.
That said, it’s still worth a watch, because it’s way more meaningful than the International Champions Cup, or any other drab preseason friendlies that we’ve been sitting through as we await the start of real football. Chelsea open their regular season slate a week from today against Huddersfield Town. City travel to Arsenal a week after the Community Shield.
Let’s take a look at who the two managers might select for their first teams.
Community Shield Odds via Betway: Man City 1/1, Chelsea 9/4, Draw 12/5
Community Shield Kickoff: Sun 3pm local
Manchester City Starting XI Prediction for the Community Shield
Riyad Mahrez David Silva Leroy Sane
Fernandinho Phil Foden
Kyle Walker Vincent Kompany Nicolas Otamendi Benjamin Mendy
It’s the first opportunity to see City’s all time most expensive player, Mahrez, play a meaningful game with his new club. Obviously, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne won’t feature in this one, but Pep Guardiola will still be able to field a fairly strong team in this one.
Chelsea FC Starting XI Prediction for the Community Shield
Pedro Alvaro Morata Callum Hudson-Odoi
Cesc Fabregas Victor Moses Jorginho
Antonio Rudiger Cesar Azpilicueta David Luiz Marcos Alonso
Obviously, Jorginho will be a major story line in this one, as Chelsea hijacked City’s deal to acquire him, and they were naturally, quite miffed about it.
Pedro is a player who should see his production increase this season as Chelsea makes a change in base formation. The Blues will be without the services of Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante.
Community Shield Prediction: City 3, Chelsea 2
We’ll take the Sky Blues over the Blues because City is dealing with a lot less transition and distraction right now.
As always, feel free to post to your own Manchester City and/or Chelsea starting XI predictions, as well as your score predictions, in the comments section below.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.
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