Billy Greenall (@BillyGreenall) previews Chelsea v Man City and provides us with his best bets for Sunday's curtain opener in the Community Shield, analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Chelsea v Man City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 05/08/2018
- Time: 15:00
- Venue: Wembley Stadium (London)
- Channel: BT Sport One
After an exhilarating, exciting and most enjoyable World Cup, domestic football returns once again as Chelsea take on Manchester City in this seasons Community Shield.
Wholesale changes in Chelsea's back room staff make this an intriguing encounter, with Maurizzio Sarri taking charge of his first competitive game as the Blues boss. The Community Shield is often referred to as a friendly, but it goes without saying that these high class managers will be eager to win in order to set the stall for a successful campaign.
If Chelsea are to shape up at all like Napoli, a much more dynamic approach can be expected going forward. The use of wing backs will remain, but under Sarri we expect them to be keen on playing out from the back like (Manchester City), breaking the lines as soon as possible. Sarri's Napoli were unbelievably free flowing in attack which did leave spaces in behind as you would expect, but their dominant possession based football put plenty of teams to the sword in Serie A last season.
The acquisition of Jorginho from right under the noses of this weekends opponents will also help Chelsea's shape, the Italian very much the pivot in the way we expect Sarri to set up this Chelsea side. Should they keep hold of Eden Hazard and potentially even Thibaut Courtois, there's no reason they can't mount a serious challenge on the top four and maybe the league title once again. Another transitional period may suggest a title assault isn't quite phesable just yet, but with a high quality coach and some world class players at the club, stranger things have happened in the Premier League.
As for Manchester City, we know what to expect after their second season under the imperious Pep Guardiola. Champions of England by a country mile, record breakers on so many occasions as well as winners of the league cup, it's fair to say Pep's second season in England was a huge success story. The brand of football the Spaniard has brought to the league has raised the bar to a level we haven't seen before in my opinion. A lot of talk at the end of last season was about the poor form of City's title rivals – hence the huge gap in points they bridged on their way to lifting the trophy. However, for me their superiority was more down to their resilience, class and togetherness. Those three qualities were something they showed in abundance throughout the whole season and none of their rivals came close to the level that they set after the first ten games.
This season has a different feel though, only a truly great team succeeds in retaining their own premier league crown, something not many teams have achieved in the last two decades. Liverpool have strengthened greatly, so you'd expect them to challenge City, whilst Chelsea and Arsenal have made changes in key areas also. With just one major signing for City so far this summer it's clear that Pep wants to keep that solidarity in the squad he's worked so hard to achieve over the last two years, only genuine world class talent will he added.
It could take five, maybe ten games before we obtain any indication which way this Premier League may go, nonetheless we're in for a fantastic season as always, beginning with this weekends curtain raiser at Wembley.
After Belgium's World Cup endeavours, it's unlikely that Courtois and Hazard will start for Chelsea. Jorginho is in line to start though following his summer switch from Napoli.
Similarly, Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne are likely to be on the bench at best for City. Mahrez could start, though he picked up on ankle injury in City's final pre season game against Bayern Munich.
Chelsea Potential Starting XI: Green, Moses, Azpiliceuta, Cahill, Luiz, Alonso, Jorginho, Fabregas, Pedro, Giroud, Morata
Man City Potential Starting XI: Ederson, Bolton, Otamendi, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho, Gundogan, D Silva, B Silva, Sane, Aguero
Stats & Facts
- The sides last met in March, the game finishing 1-0 at the Etihad courtesy of a Bernardo Silva goal.
- The last time the sides met at Wembley was in 2013 in the FA Cup semi final – that game finishing 2-1 to City.
- Chelsea's last visit to Wembley ended in a 1-0 win against Manchester United in last season's FA Cup final.
- The last time the sides met in the community shield, Man City won 3-2 at Villa Park.
Head To Head
- Chelsea 66
- Draws 39
- Man City – 54
- Chelsea 13/5
- Draw 13/5
- Man City 23/20
With both sides set to field slightly weaker teams than we may have expected, this game becomes even more difficult to call. Both teams to score seems safe although the odds aren't fantastic, but I would recommend the game being a draw and decided on penalties given how tight it could be.