After a hectic few months of European Championship, Copa America and Olympic action, the English domestic season is somehow already upon us.
Squaring off in this year’s Community Shield is FA Cup winners Leicester City and Premier League champions Manchester City. With both teams still building up their fitness levels, we should not expect a classic.
However, with Wembley set to be filled to the brim and a host of potential debuts to look forward to, it is still worth watching the showcase. Here is everything you need to know about the 2021 Community Shield.
When is kick off? Saturday 7 August, 17:15 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Wembley Stadium, London
What TV channel is it on? ITV (UK), ESPN (US)
Who’s the referee? Paul Tierney
Who’s the VAR? Darren England
Leicester will be without defensive starlet Wesley Fofana after he fractured his fibula during a pre-season game against Villarreal last time out.
That is not Brendan Rodgers’ only injury worry either. Jonny Evans is still suffering from the foot problem he picked up partway through the FA Cup final. In addition, James Justin is still recovering from a ruptured ACL and Nampalys Mendy will also play no part.
Timothy Castagne returned to training recently after suffering a horrific facial injury at Euro 2020 but he is not expected to feature.
Back in July, Pep Guardiola said he intended to field a ‘second team’ in the Community Shield due to so many of his squad getting to the latter stages of various international competitions.
How that reserve XI will actually look is not clear, though there have been reports that Jack Grealish could make his City debut at Wembley.
Phil Foden is unlikely to feature from the start as he is still feeling the effects of the injury that disrupted his Euro 2020 campaign. Exciting youngster Liam Delap is another doubt.
Leicester: Ward; Pereira, Soyuncu, Benkovic, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans, Maddison; Barnes, Perez, Vardy
Man City: Steffen, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Mendy; Fernandinho, Doyle, Bernardo; Mahrez, Delap, Edozie
Leicester and Man City have met 122 times previously with the latter enjoying a clear advantage, winning 62 games to their opponent’s 31. 29 encounters have ended all square.
In more recent times the Citizens have dominated, but Leicester have picked up a few famous scalps. Most famously, they beat Guardiola’s side 5-2 at the beginning of last season.
City have still been victorious in eight of the last 10 encounters, though, including the most recent fixture which they won 2-0 in April.
Leicester will be delighted to return to Wembley so soon after their excellent FA Cup final win. We’re backing them to secure another upset against an admittedly weakened City side.
Keep an eye out for Patson Daka off the bench too, who has the potential to be one of the signings of the summer.
Prediction: Leicester 2-1 Man City