Community Shield – Chelsea v Manchester City Preview
The country may well be in the middle of Olympic fever at the moment, but the football season is sure to bring plenty of excitement once again and this is where it all begins.
Although the result isn't too important, it is definitely a step up from the pre-season friendly matches and for both Manchester City and Chelsea, it is a chance to lay down a marker for the rest of the Premier League campaign.
Both teams have ambitions to secure the title of course and with winning a habit, there is no doubt that lifting the Community Shield this weekend would be seen as a positive. Losing it isn't a disaster, far from it, but it will be a competitive contest that both teams want to win.
Focusing on Chelsea to begin with, the first thing you can say about them is that they are European Champions and this is a tag they will want to live up to.
Fresh from winning the Champions League last season, they will of course want to defend their crown, but perhaps more importantly, they want to be in the mix for the Premier League title.
Last season, they finished a disappointing 6th and it was a disjointed season for them. With a change of manager and plenty of top players below par, they of course ended on a massive high, but generally it was a league campaign to forget.
There is a sense of stability now though with Roberto Di Matteo in permanent charge and the playing squad much happier than this time last year. Didier Drogba may have left, but they have signed some quality players this summer and it is time for a new era at Stamford Bridge.
As for Manchester City, this is a game for them to show why they are still the team to beat. Not too much would be read into it if they lost, but Roberto Mancini will want his players to continue where they left off last season.
With no new players coming in as yet, it seems likely that City will keep faith with the men that won them the title last season, certainly for now. With Carlos Tevez committed to the cause though, this might feel like a new signing for them.
Other reasons to keep a close eye on this match other than it is a battle between two of the best teams in the country is the Chelsea new signings that could be on show. Highly-rated midfielder Eden Hazard could play a part and it will be good to see him make his bow.
Overall, it could be a hugely entertaining afternoon in Birmingham.
Published: Wednesday 08th August 2012