The 2021/22 Premier League season is almost upon us, but for Manchester City and Leicester they must first pick up where they left off at the end of May to contest the Community Shield.
The two participated in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium then, a game that saw Youri Tielemans score a screamer to earn the Foxes their first ever success in the competition. That enthralling contest – which seems so long ago after a summer feast of football at Euro 2020 – also saw supporters welcomed back en masse for the first time in forever, and there should be a full house this time around in North West London.
Many City supporters will be hoping to get a glimpse of £100m record signing Jack Grealish, but it’s likely he’ll have to contend with a watching brief and place on the substitutes’ bench. Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, has already indicated that he’ll play a weakened team, the question is who will get the nod come kick off at *checks notes* 5.15pm.
Here’s who 90min predicts to make the cut…
Zack Steffen (GK) – City’s keeper extraordinaire for cup competitions, Steffen has another chance to strut his stuff under the arch.
Joao Cancelo (RB) – Hardly Under-23 level material but Cancelo didn’t play in the Euro 2020 final and Kyle Walker did. Do the math.
Ruben Dias (CB) – Another of City’s Portuguese contingent (eat your heart out Wolves), it’s hard to imagine Pep not picking Dias. He will want to win, after all.
Nathan Ake (CB) – Remember when everybody wanted Ake even though Bournemouth conceded shed loads of goals with him in the team? Yeah, that’s why he’s very much a backup for City.
Benjamin Mendy (LB) – Not many sides have a £50m signing operating as their second, even third, choice left-back. City do.
Fernandinho (DM) – Somebody’s got to sit in front of City‘s defence and implement some APA style protection, so who better than (no, it’s not Kanyon) Fernandinho?!
Tommy Doyle (CM) – First team opportunities are hard to come by for Doyle, even though he’s pretty talented by all accounts. Big chance to shine if he starts.
Bernardo Silva (CM) – With many of City’s midfield generals still nursing Euro 2020 hangovers it’s likely that Silva – who openly wants to leave the club – will get the nod of passing the ball as often as he can.
Riyad Mahrez (RW) – The chance to get one over on your old club and be the matchwinner at Wembley? Sounds like something Riyad Mahrez will be more than interested in.
Liam Delap (ST) – Nope, it’s not Harry Kane doing the business up front for City, but it could be young Liam Delap given the nod. He’s got a bit of star quality about him and it’s not because he can throw the ball 417 miles!
Samuel Edozie (LW) – The latest player to be bestowed with the ‘incredible’ tag by Pep Guardiola, the future appears to be blindingly bright for winger Samuel Edozie. If it doesn’t work out there’s this lad called Grealish on the City bench…