Premier League champions Manchester City meet FA Cup and Champions League winners Chelsea in the 2012 Community Shield at Villa Park on Sunday.
Manchester City @2.25
Manchester City will be without Gareth Barry after his hernia operation last month. Micah Richards is carrying an ankle knock and has been ruled out, whilst David Silva and Mario Balotelli may have to settle for a place on the substitutes bench after their involvement at Euro 2012. Captain Vincent Kompany is carrying a calf complaint but should feature.
Chelsea’s summer signing Marko Marin is unavailable with a hamstring injury, but Eden Hazard should feature for the Blues. Oscar is unavailable with Brazil U23 set to face Mexico U23 later today in the Olympic final, whilst Juan Mata has been involved in both Euro 2012 and the Olympics set-up for Spain this summer.
- Seven of the last 10 Community Shield matches have been won by the Premier League champions and not the FA Cup winners
- Chelsea have only managed two clean sheets in nine Community Shield appearances
- Four penalties have been scored in the last three meetings between the two sides
- Chelsea have scored in all nine Community Shield appearances
- There have been three red cards in the last three meetings in the Premier League between Chelsea and Manchester City
Despite the increasing frustration of manager Roberto Mancini and his club’s lack of activity in the transfer market, Manchester City go into the match with a far more settled squad and formation than their opponents.
Chelsea’s exciting midfield signings will pose Roberto Di Matteo with plenty of questions early on in the season regarding his starting formation and best eleven. Ramires should start on the right of the front three after his impressive displays in the Champions League last season with new boy Eden Hazard occupying the remaining forward position.
The Blues have been less than impressive during pre-season, whilst Mancini’s experimentation with three centre backs has had mixed results. Di Matteo has publicly stated that it is results that will drive his new-look Chelsea team, but the stability and drive of Manchester City should see the Premier League champions come away with the victory in a potentially open and attacking curtain-raiser.
Manchester City to Lift the Trophy @1.66
Both Teams to Score @1.61
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