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Community Shield focus: Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri go head to head

The new Chelsea boss comes up against Manchester City’s Premier League-winning coach.

Manchester City and Chelsea meet in Sunday’s Community Shield with the battle between the two managers likely to be one of the main features.

New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is continuing to shape the Blues into his image and counts City manager Pep Guardiola as a close friend and the best coach in the world.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a more in-depth look at the pair ahead of their Wembley showdown.


Pep Guardiola led Mancester City to the Premier League title last season (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola heads into the game on the back of a fine second season in England, winning the Carabao Cup and breaking records en route to the Premier League title.

Those triumphs are added to a haul of winners’ medals for a man who also enjoyed huge success at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

In contrast, Sarri has had to work his way up from lower-league managerial jobs and is yet to win a major competition despite enjoying an impressive spell at home-town club Napoli which saw him land the Chelsea role.


Sarri became known for his attacking approach while at Napoli (Scott Heavey/PA)

The approach known as “Sarri-ball” will grace Stamford Bridge this season as the Blues move away from a mainly defensive outlook.

A high-octane set-up and such an alteration to their work under Antonio Conte means Chelsea’s players are likely to need more time to adapt to Sarri’s attempts to bring a thrilling style.

Guardiola’s charges, meanwhile, are now fully versed in the Spaniard’s own unique, fast-paced outlook which blew their Premier League rivals out of the water, but with the similar philosophies it could make for a memorable meeting.


Despite leading his side to Premier League glory, Guardiola sometimes appears difficult to please (Martin Rickett/PA)

Chelsea fans have been used to Conte bouncing up and down in his technical area over the past two years, either in delight or despair.

Sarri will also bark his orders but appears to do it in a more controlled manner, although he will not be able to light up a cigarette as he did on occasion while managing in Italy.

Guardiola often looks subdued in the dugout, especially considering the exciting play he encourages on the pitch, but is not shy to vent his frustrations if he is not happy with what he is seeing.

Approach to the game

The Community Shield sees FA Cup holders take on Premier League champions (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Sarri has only been in his new position since July 14 and will still be fine-tuning his approach and looking at players who could make an impact.

He has not been able to work with the likes of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante so this should be seen as another pre-season work-out – even if winning the Community Shield will prove Sarri can deliver trophies.

City are also without a number of key players following their World Cup exploits but Guardiola will want to be successful and keep the winning feeling flowing heading into the new campaign.

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