Saturday, 11 August 2012

Chelsea vs Manchester City Preview

Who will start the new season with a bang?

The lil' geniuses less likely to start the game?
Juan Mata is unlikely to feature for Chelsea following his involvement at the Olympic Games, so Roberto Di Matteo could opt for a 4-3-3 formation with Raul Meireles joining Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel in midfield.

Ramires and Eden Hazard are likely to support Fernando Torres in attack, while the Italian will decide between Gary Cahill and David Luiz at the back. Marko Marin will miss the match with a hamstring injury.

Roberto Mancini is still yet to field anything like his first-choice line-up during pre-season, making it difficult to predict how strong a team he will select for this match.

The match fitness of some of their Euro 2012 competitors, such as Samir Nasri and Nigel de Jong is in doubt, while Vincent Kompany is struggling with a calf injury and is unlikely to be risked, so Kolo Toure could feature at centre-back.

David Silva and Mario Balotelli went all the way to the final with their countries in Poland and Ukraine and will therefore likely be kept among the substitutes.

Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez have all seen plenty of pre-season action and should be involved in the starting XI, but Gareth Barry is injured and Micah Richards will not play after representing Great Britain at the Olympics.


  • Manchester City suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of rivals Manchester United in last year's Community Shield, but have won the prize three times – in 1937, 1968 and 1972.
  • Villa Park, the home of Aston Villa, will host this year's tie as Wembley is in use as part of the Olympic Games in London.
  • The match will be played away from a national stadium – either one of the two incarnations of Wembley in England or the Millennium Stadium in Wales – for the first time since 1973 when it was played at City's former ground, Maine Road.
  • Maine Road hosted the match five times in all, while the game has been played at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge more than any other stadium bar Wembley.
  • Chelsea beat City at home in the Premier League last season, but suffered defeat at the Etihad Stadium by the same 2-1 scoreline.
  • Overall, the Blues have the edge in the head-to-head statistics, having enjoyed 55 wins to City's 43, with 36 matches between the two sides resulting in a draw.
  • Chelsea have won the Community Shield four times, with three of those victories coming since the turn of the millennium in 2000, 2005 and 2009. They also won in 1955.
  • Roberto Di Matteo, taking charge of his first game as permanent manager, is the fourth Italian to take the reins at Stamford Bridge after Carlo Ancelotti, Claudio Ranieri and Gianluca Vialli.
  • EDEN HAZARD is playing! 

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