Big Match Breakdown: Chelsea v Manchester City
Odds and tips ahead of the showdown
The 2018 FA Community Shield looks like a bit of a humdinger as Chelsea take on Manchester City under the Wembley Arch.
The season curtain-raiser sees Maurizio Sarri take his Blues team into competitive battle for the first time. And Pep Guardiola will also be able to call on more of his returning World Cup stars.
You can catch the game live on BT Sport 1 with coverage from 2:00pm. And the Coral News Team have you covered in-depth with a Big Match Breakdown.
Recent meetings between the pair have tended to be quite even. Since Guardiola took over the Citizens, they’ve beaten Chelsea in four of their seven clashes.
The Blues have won three, including a walloping 5-1 win in the FA Cup. However, historically, Chelsea have the edge in the overall records.
The last time the pair met in the Community Shield, City ran out 3-2 winners back in 2012.
This summer, more than most, it’s difficult to know who’s going to turn out for the top teams in pre-season.
Most of the senior internationals have been given extended rest after a hectic World Cup. And, in City’s case, that’s given Guardiola the opportunity to blood a number of talented youngsters.
They’re likely to start again at Wembley, albeit with a sprinkling of top-class first-teamers. Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane, and possibly Riyad Mahrez will start. But expect Lukas Nmecha to start up top, with Eric Garcia and Oleksandr Zinchenko in the backline.
For Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek could start, while Jorginho is expected to be handed his full debut in midfield.
Hark back to Napoli v Man City in last season’s Champions League group stages and this game is likely to follow that pattern.
It’s Sarriball v Juego de Posicion as Naples and Catalonia clash in the coaching stakes. And that should mean an exciting game.
Sarri’s tactical ploy of lightning-fast, vertical transitions means Jorginho will be pivotal. Not just here, but in the Blues XI all season. The Italy international must not be allowed to dictate the play otherwise City’s youngsters could get cut through down the middle.
However, Guardiola’s charges will continue to play their own way no matter who takes the field. Expect plenty of short, incisive passing, and mesmeric movement off the ball.
Man City are the pre-match favourites at 21/20. Coral traders make Chelsea the 12/5 underdogs. And the Draw is available at 5/2.
With Chelsea likely to have more senior stars included, they might just have the edge. However, the caveat is that Guardiola is much more advanced with his system than Sarri.
Since the inception of the Premier League, there has only ever been one 0-0 – back in 2008 between Manchester United and Portsmouth.
Chelsea to win and Both Teams To Score is 24/5. Alvaro Morata has been on-song in pre-season. The Spain international is 11/2 to score first and 19/10 to notch Anytime.
For City, young forward Nmecha 8/5 to get on the scoresheet at Anytime.