Five issues under the microscope at the Community Shield
Manchester City take on Chelsea in the season’s curtain-raiser at Wembley on Sunday.
Premier League champions Manchester City and FA Cup winners Chelsea do battle on Sunday in the Community Shield.
Here, Press Association Sport considers some of the key areas of debate.
Sarri takes his bow
Chelsea’s turbulent relationship with Antontio Conte finally reached its inevitable conclusion, leading to a successful pursuit of Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri.
He has not had long to implement what should be a reasonably dramatic overhaul of his predecessor’s style and tactics but this match still represents his grand entrance to English football.
He will want to make his presence felt and what better opponent than Pep Guardiola? Sarri likes to play attractive, attacking football and City are likely to take up the challenge, which could make for a pleasing spectacle.
How will Jorginho settle in the spotlight?
Sarri’s biggest signing to date has been his trusted lieutenant from Napoli, Jorginho.
The Brazilian midfielder is not only a crucial part of the Italian’s tactical blueprint who can help his team-mates adapt more quickly to patterns of play, he is also something of a coup in that City badly wanted his services.
Guardiola thought he had secured the services of a player who would add much-needed depth and freshness to the engine room and would be disgruntled to see the 26-year-old turn in a major performance at the weekend.
World Cup hangover
As much as organisers and sponsors would love the match to be an elite contest of best against best, is almost never qualifies as such. This year looks even less likely considering the tie’s proximity to the World Cup and the number of key men involved in the tournament.
Manchester City have yet to welcome England’s Raheem Sterling or Belgium’s Kevin de Bruyne back to training, and may be reluctant to give other star names an extensive workout. Chelsea pair Olivier Giroud and N’golo Kante won the trophy with France and continue to sit out, as do Belgian trio Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi and Thibaut Courtois.
Mahrez into the mix
The arrival of Riyad Mahrez for around £60million represented City’s record transfer fee and surely guarantees the Algerian a key role at the Etihad Stadium. Quite what that is or where he will ultimately prove most adept in Guardiola’s fluid system is less clear.
City were a relentless threat going forward last season and bringing tangible improvement to a unit that plundered 106 goals in 38 league games is no easy task.
The fact Guardiola has been on Mahrez’s trail for a long time suggests he has a plan in mind and this should provide an early look at what his job will be.
Battle of the young bucks
In Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi, City and Chelsea have two of the English game’s brightest prospects.
If they continue their current trajectory the pair could easily be team-mates in the national team for years to come, but they also share a common problem.
Neither can bank on regular game time considering the expensively-assembled squads they are trying to crack.
Pre-season has been kind to the youngsters though, with so many senior stars on extended breaks, and they have done enough to expect some action at Wembley.
For fans and neutrals alike this could be a chance to see two teenage talents of the highest calibre showcase their skills in front of millions.