Big Game Focus: Chelsea v Manchester City

The Big Game Focus takes a look at the largest game of the day, giving you possible team line-ups, form and betting advice.

Five days before the start of the Premier League season, Manchester City and Chelsea meet at Wembley in the Community Shield. Both sides are frequent participants in the season opener, although neither have won the fixture since they faced one another in 2012, when the Citizens lifted the trophy at Villa Park.

Chelsea have form at Wembley, where they beat Manchester United in May to win the FA Cup for the eighth time. The Blues have since parted ways with manager Antonio Conte, with Maurizio Sarri arriving from Napoli as his replacement. The newcomer has overseen a promising series of results in pre-season, and victory here would earn him his first ever trophy as a manager.

Manchester City vanquished all before them en route to the Premier League title last season, but Pep Guardiola’s preparations for the upcoming campaign have been hindered by the absence of a large contingent of his squad following the World Cup.

The league champions defeated Chelsea twice last season, but can Sarri spring a surprise against an out-of-sorts City side?

Betting tips

Chelsea have gone unbeaten in pre-season (excluding penalty shootouts), winning two and drawing once. In contrast, Manchester City have lost two of their three friendlies and needed to come back from two goals down to beat Bayern Munich. Backing Double Chance Chelsea at attractive odds of 1.75 offers good value here.

Both of Manchester City’s wins over Chelsea last season saw more goals in the second half, while the same has occurred in six of the past ten Community Shield matches. Back Second Half with Most Goals at odds of 2.10 here.

Four of Chelsea’s past five appearances in the Community Shield have seen them score and concede. Manchester City have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their three Community Shield matches this century, and have found the net in two of those. Both Teams to Score is available at odds of 1.60. Bet here.

Chelsea’s Pedro was not part of the Spain squad at the 2018 World Cup, and so has benefitted from a full summer with his club. He has found the net in two of the Blues’ three pre-season matches, and is priced at odds of 4.30 to score anytime.

Team news

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has returned early from his post World Cup holiday and could be in line to appear. However, the game may come too soon for the other involved in the latter stages of the World Cup, such as Eden Hazard and N’golo Kante.

City’s summer signing Riyad Mahrez faces a race to be fit after he injured his ankle against Bayern Munich. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are amongst the faces back in training, but not all of City’s English and Belgian players will be ready.

Possible teams

Chelsea: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Fabregas, Jorginho, Barkley, Pedro, Morata, Hudson-Odoi

Manchester City: Ederson, Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy, D. Silva, Fernandinho, Delph, B. Silva, Aguero, Sane