It may take a while for Maurizio Sarri’s influence to have an impact on Chelsea and Manchester City can get the better of last season’s FA Cup winners in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.
Sarri was officially named as Antonio Conte’s successor last month after leaving Napoli and he has inherited a few problems at Stamford Bridge following the Blues’ fifth-place finish in the Premier League.
Belgium internationals Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard have both indicated they want to leave the club while Sarri will also be without Michy Batshuayi, N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud and Willian this weekend following their World Cup exploits.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has impressed in pre-season and the teenager may start at Wembley while forgotten man Ross Barkley will be desperate to prove his worth following his transfer from Everton in January.
In contrast to the upheaval at Chelsea, City boss Pep Guardiola has enjoyed a serene summer, adding Jorginho and Riyad Mahrez to a squad that ran away with the top-flight title last season.
Only Manchester United and Liverpool beat City in the league last term and Guardiola’s team completed the double over Chelsea, winning both matches 1-0.
Kevin de Bruyne scored the winner in the match at Stamford Bridge but has not returned to training yet after helping Belgium reach the semi-finals in Russia.
Raheem Sterling will also be missing and it is unclear whether Guardiola will decide to name a youthful line-up and not risk the likes of Vincent Kompany, John Stones, David Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero.
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