Community Shield: Chelsea vs Manchester City Preview

2018/19 FA Community Shield

Chelsea take on Manchester City in the English Premier League curtain-raiser on Sunday the 5th of August 2018. 

The feeling of the welcoming back the world’s toughest and most entertaining league is upon us, but before that, Premier League champions, Manchester City, will do battle with FA Cup holders, Chelsea, in one of the biggest curtain raisers ever known to football – the English FA Community Shield. City were dominant in their 2017/18 league success, knocking the Blues off the throne with quite some ease.

This time around, Chelsea have a new manager at the helm in Maurizio Sarri, and the clash against Pep Guardiola has the neutrals licking their lips, with both sets of coaches known for their attacking and attractive way of playing the beautiful game. A blue moon has risen over England in the last couple of years, but will it be the Sky Blue of Manchester? Or will it be the Eton blue of London?

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FA Community Shield | Sunday 5 August | Wembley Stadium | 16:00 

To Win (90 mins)
Chelsea 49/20
Draw 5/2
Manchester City 1/1

Chelsea
It’s the start of something special for all those involved with Chelsea as the club prepare for a new approach – an attacking, possession-based one – something unheard of since the start of the Roman Abramovich era.

Maurizio Sarri has already started to implement his philosophy to Chelsea, and by doing so, he snapped up Italian midfielder, Jorginho, who he worked with from his time at Napoli. Sarri’s teams are known for playing an exciting brand of football and having Jorginho will certainly shake things up in Chelsea’s anchoring role.

Of course, they still have N’Golo Kante, but the Frenchman will play no part in the Community Shield after becoming a FIFA World Cup winner with France last month. Olivier Giroud, who also won the World Cup with Les Bleus, will also miss out, as well as Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi, Gary Cahill, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Thibaut Courtois.

To Sarri’s delight, Willian will be back at the club as they fight off Barcelona to keep hold of the Brazilian’s services. Willian offers the Blues something much different to those who participated in most of their pre-season preparations.

With the FA Cup champions expected to go with an experienced backline in front of Willy Caballero, much of Chelsea’s chance will rely on the right boot of Willian.


Manchester City
Continuity will play a huge roll for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola prepares for year three at the helm of the Sky Blues. City were unstoppable last season, and if they’re half as good as they were in 2017/18, they will surely no doubt be a force to be reckoned with again.

Guardiola will be missing a host of his players due to their World Cup exploits, in fact, City have almost their entire first-team missing. World Cup winner, Benjamin Mendy, as well as John Stones, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and Danilo will all be unavailable for their Community Shield clash.

That means that Pep may have to rely on youth to get the club’s first trophy of the campaign. Phil Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko are the two brightest stars in the City camp, but the English champions still have the experience of David Silva and Aymeric Laporte, while the speediness and trickery of Leroy Sane and new signing, Riyad Mahrez, will be something to look forward to seeing.

Guardiola knows what it takes to beat Chelsea after winning both at the Etihad Stadium and at Stamford Bridge last season. He also knows what it takes to beat Sarri as his City side beat Napoli both home and away in the UEFA Champions League last term.

If the Citizens are to emulate their success of 2017/18, they will need their star players at their very best once again, while the pressure will be on Mahrez to hit the ground running from the start.

Verdict: Chelsea (49/20)
It seems that Chelsea have the upper hand heading into the game as Sarri has most of his first-team players to work with, and a much more experienced defence. Apart from Caballero, the Blues have most of their regulars. That said, Chelsea are well worth a punt at 49/20, especially with Sarri hoping to make his mark in English football from the get-go.



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