The FA Community Shield is a curtain raiser to the English season, that takes place between the previous season’s PL champions and the FA cup winners. Manchester City as the PL champions will meet Leicester City who won the FA Cup by defeating Chelsea in the finals in the 99th edition of the FA Community Shield at Wembley. Manchester City have played in 5 of the last 10 Community Shield battles and have won the titles recently in 2018 and 2019.
On the other hand, Leicester City make their third appearance in the annual curtain raiser with their most recent appearance coming in 2016 . Leicester City would be keen to add another Community Shield that they last won 50 years ago in 1971.
Why should you be watching it?
There is no reason why you should miss this. The Community Shield usually gives a glimpse of what the season holds and as defending PL champions, Manchester City will be keen to make a mark going into the new season.
On the other hand, Leicester City would want to make a good first impression and make a statement about their genuine title credentials. For the uninitiated, Wembley will be at partially full capacity . The atmosphere will be electrifying with both teams keen to make a mark in front of their fans.
Both teams have faced each other 19 times with the Citizens coming on top 13 times while Leicester have won 4 encounters. In the PL last season, City won their most recent encounter this year by 2-0 while the first meeting was won by Leicester 5-2
A host of Citizens stars like Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, John Stones, Ederson, Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne, all returned late to training as they featured heavily at Euro and Copa America. Pep Guardiola admitted that he would be fielding a second team with 3 or 4 players at maximum from the first team. This opens the door for their fringe players and U23s to make way into the starting XI.
With Ederson not available, Zack Steffen should start in goal for the Community Shield game. Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias, Cancelo and Mendy should make the City defense as they all featured in pre-season recently. Fernandinho would anchor the midfield along with youngsters like Tommy Doyle and Claudio Gomes. Gundogan and Rodri could also be an option with both of them finding minutes hard to come by in their respective Euro campaigns. Riyad Mahrez is a sure starter against his former club while the likes of Delap and Cole Palmer could get a chance to impress their manager and fans alike.
Predicted XI: Steffen, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Mendy, Doyle, Fernandinho, Gomes, Mahrez, Delap, Cole Palmer
Brendan Rodgers on the other hand, has most of his first team regulars to choose from with the exception of club captain and keeper Kasper Schmeichel. James Maddison is also likely to be excluded as he continues to be heavily linked with a move to Arsenal. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see if new signings and Patson Daka and Soumare are involved with Patson Daka even scoring in the pre-season friendly against QPR. Either Eldin Jakupovic or Iversen will start in goal in absence of Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward, in the Community Shield.
Soyuncu is the only fit centre back with the recent injury to Fofana. Brendan Rodgers on the other hand, has most of his first team regulars to choose from with the exception of club captain and keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Predicted XI: Jakupovic, Soyuncu, Ndidi, Pereira, Bertrand, Tielemans, Praet, Daka, Barnes, Vardy, Ayoze Perez
Players to Watch Out For
Mahrez had an extended break this season given he was not involved in any international matches. Mahrez has now scored 3 goals in 3 matches in pre-season. He will be looking to continue his goalscoring form against his former club. With Leicester’s defense looking a bit weak, there is no reason why the Algerian will not be able to continue his form at Wembley
With City’s key men missing, the 37-year-old Citizen captain will be a vital cog in midfield. His leadership and experience will come in handy while stopping Leicester’s pacy and counter attacks. Fernandinho will definitely want to add another trophy to his elusive cabinet at Wembley.
Leicester’s talismanic striker has always been a big game player and after having a good break he should continue his good run against the top 6 sides. Vardy has 11 goals in his last 15 games vs the Citizens so far. His hat-trick against them would be fresh in his heads when they met the first time they met in the season.
Leicester’s new summer signing arrives with a reputation in the Austrian league. Daka hit the ground running instantly in the pre-season friendly against QPR and his electrifying pace could be a trouble for the City defence.
The season curtain raiser should be an exciting game in front of the Wembley crowd with both teams playing some attacking football. With the last two Community Shields being decided on penalties, we expect this game to be a nail-biting finish that could raise the bar for an exciting season to come.
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