Preview: Chelsea v Manchester City

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea

New Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri will have the chance to test himself against England’s reigning champions when the Blues face Manchester City in the Community Shield.

FA Community Shield
5 August 2018
Kick-off: 22h00 HKT
Venue: Wembley Stadium

Referee: J. Moss
Assistant referees: A. Nunn, E. Smart
Fourth official: P. Tierney

Head-to-head summary

Chelsea 64 39 54
Manchester City 54 39 64

Previous encounter

Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea (04/03/2018) Premier League

Manchester City goalscorer: Bernardo Silva (46′)

Countdown 'till tomorrow! #mancity

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Players to watch

Manchester City looked set to sign midfielder Jorginho from Napoli until Chelsea snapped him up from underneath their noses. As a result, all eyes will be on the Italian midfield maestro.

Meanwhile, City striker Sergio Aguero, a serial tormentor of Chelsea, will be looking to continue his fine form against the Blues. He has scored five goals in his last five appearances against them, including a hat-trick in April 2016.

New signing Riyad Mahrez may get the chance to show City fans why he was voted the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for the 2015/16 season, while Sarri may give Callum Hudson-Odoi an opportunity to test himself against the best in the land on the left of the Chelsea front three after his impressive performance against Arsenal.

Team form and manager quotes

Chelsea have seen successive International Champions Cup games go to penalties, picking up a victory over Inter Milan but losing to Arsenal in the preseason tournament.

Their preparation for 2018/19 has been far from smooth, as they began their preseason amid uncertainty over the head coach position. Eventually, the Blues were able to snap up Sarri to replace Antonio Conte.

“First of all, I’m looking forward to playing at Wembley because it’s my first time. The match will be very difficult for us. I want to win because it’s very important but at this moment of the season it’s very important to have a good performance. We have to improve and I hope to see from my team another step,” the new Blues boss said in his pre-match press conference.

His friend Pep Guardiola is happy to see him in English football, but there will be no pleasantries on the pitch between the two sides.

“I am happy that he is here in the Premier League,” Guardiola said of Sarri. “I will learn a lot to see his team every weekend. I saw three games — he gets it, the team in a short time plays like he wants.

“I think it will be a good game, always Chelsea is a big rival. Antonio was, Maurizio will be too. The style of play will be perfect for English football.”

City have also won one and lost one of their International Champions Cup games, losing 2-1 to Liverpool, but beating Bayern Munich 3-2.

Team news

Riyad Mahrez is in contention to start, having recovered sufficiently from injury to take part in training on Wednesday. Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne, who featured in England and Belgium’s runs to the World Cup semifinals respectively, will both be spared for Sunday’s game.

Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas is doubtful for Chelsea, although Sarri has said that he does not have a serious injury.