MANAGERS BATTLE IT OUT
After a substandard 2017-18 campaign, Chelsea will definitely be looking to start the season on a winning note, recruiting Maurizio Sarri, the manager who helped Napoli to a second place finish in their previous Serie A campaign can be a step towards the same.
The 59 year old Italian is recognized for his style of play, ‘Sarriball’ which consist of attacking football. And what has made his arrival even more exciting is his back staff that will include former Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola, as the club’s new assistant coach.
The Citizens have had a stupendous season in their previous campaign by losing just a couple of games. Pep Guardiola’s tactics of possession based play has worked wonders for the Sky Blues as they managed to score a century of points. Transfer window, though, have been rather cold for them as they only recruited Riyad Mahrez. The Community Shield will be vital for both these managers as they hope to begin on a winning start. What will make this encounter even more exciting is the attacking mentality that both these managers tent to follow and the winner will be determined based on who can penetrate to a higher extent.
NEW PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Both teams have not played a very active role in the transfer window this season, but they will be very pleased with the signings so far.
Chelsea has completed the signing of Jorginho who was a part of the squad Sarri’s squad that finished second just after the club from Turin. Promising start in first two pre- season games where he was on the pitch for just 45 minutes but managed a total of 101 touches and 98 successful passes. The Blues will waiting to see him combine in midfield with N’golo Kante and turn tables for them this time around.
Riyad Mahrez has been one of the most in-demand players in the past few seasons, ever since his brilliant performance helped Leicester City lift the title two seasons back. Manchester City’s success at the Community Shield will depend upon the versatile player, the reason being, that he not only has phenomenal control over the ball but can also be an excellent provider.
PREVIOUS SEASONS PERFORMANCE
Chelsea’s Premier League title defense looked doomed from the start, as they opened the campaign with a chaotic 3-2 loss at home to Burnley with Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas being sent off. Antonio Conte’s side appeared weakened by the departures of key members in the team, and to add to their problems, their new singings failed to make an impact. At one point, they even suffered a run of five losses from seven league games. A late surge put them within touching distance of the top four, but their hopes collapsed with their 3-0 loss to Newcastle on the final day of the season. But even though, it wasn’t a season to be remembered, they would be pleased to finish the campaign with some kind of silverware after winning the FA Cup.
Manchester City blew the competition away in Pep Guardiola’s second season in charge, starting with a 22-game unbeaten run which included a record-breaking total of 18 consecutive Premier League wins between August and December. The title was already becoming a formality at that point, and while their hopes of going unbeaten were eventually ended by Liverpool in January and they missed the chance to clinch the crown against rivals Manchester United in April, City finished the season with a record, 100 points haul and even broke the record, for most goals scored with a total of 106 goals. Their Carabao Cup triumph over Arsenal made it a domestic double, and their sensational attacking football raised the bar for the rest. City scored three or more goals in 21 Premier League games
PLAYER VS. PLAYER BATTLE
An all-Spanish Encounter- Cesar Azpilicueta vs. David Silva. Both players returned to their clubs after Spain exited the World Cup, where they failed to score against the host Russia. This will definitely be a key competition to watch out for especially after both players have been crucial players for their club in the past and have also maintained a consistent form. The test for the youngsters- Calum Hudson Odi vs. Lukas Nmecha
The pre- season is generally the ultimate opportunity for the youngsters to impress their managers and make their way to the first team. And these two individuals have managed doing the same so far and will hope to carry the same form into the Community Shield. They have both been very successful when they’ve represented England at younger stages of their careers, and will be two youthful prospects to look out for.
Claudio Bravo vs Pedro
This will be an interesting clash. Bravo will be all out to prove himself at the start of the season and it won’t be an easy test for the Chilean golie, especially in the form Pedro has been in off late after scoring both the goals in their previous pre- season victories.
WORLD CUP STARS
Kevin De Bruyne maintained a similar consistency as he entered the World Cup with Belgium. Another player who had a brilliant World Cup was Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. The duo didn’t only manage scoring but played an important role in initiating goals eventually helping them reach the semi- finals of the competition for the first time. Another player that has to be given a whole lot of credit for Belgium’s success is Thibaut Courtois. After making a total of 27 saves, he was awarded the golden glove at the competition.
Another player who was in brilliant form and definitely created a number of chances for the Three Lions was Raheem Sterling. The pace that he has to offer would make a very tidy option for Pep Guardiola