Chelsea, Man City open England’s top flight season


Chelsea and Manchester City will open England’s top flight 2018/19 season when they meet in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 5 August 2018, kick-off at 16h00 CAT.

The teams earned their place in the traditional curtain-raiser thanks to their trophy success last season: the Blues claimed the FA Cup after defeating Manchester United 1-0 in the final on May 19, while the Citizens romped to the Premier League title and finished a full 19 points clear at the top of the table.

While City comes into the game looking to once again reassert their dominance under the tenure of manager Pep Guardiola, it’s the start of yet another new era for Chelsea. The London club has bid farewell to one Italian manager in Antonio Conte and replaced him with another in Maurizio Sarri. The 59-year-old turned Napoli into title contenders in Italy and will be expected to do the same at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea comes into the game on the back of a promising pre-season, with their latest outing an International Champions Cup (ICC) clash against Arsenal on Wednesday night in Dublin. The London giants also beat Perth Glory 1-0 and held Italian side Internazionale to a 1-1 draw before edging the game on penalties.

City has also been in action in the ICC, suffering defeats to Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool before overcoming Bayern Munich on Sunday in Miami. Guardiola has predominantly used youngsters through pre-season, though fans have also been able to see new signing Riyad Mahrez in action, and he is set to feature strongly in the Community Shield.

In head-to-head stats, Chelsea and City have clashed in 159 matches across all competitions since their first meeting way back in December 1907. The Blues have claimed 66 wins compared to 54 for the Citizens, while 39 games have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was a Premier League clash in March 2018 at the Etihad Stadium which was won 1-0 by City, thanks to a goal from Bernardo Silva. It saw the Citizens claim a league ‘double’ over Chelsea for the 2017/18 season and the third time overall in the Premier League era (the others were in 2009/10 and 2015/16).

While both teams will be missing some stars (who have been given extended rests after their exertions in the World Cup), it is widely expected that City will triumph and give warning of their intention to defend their league title.

Chelsea v Manchester City – Head-to-Head (all competitions, no friendlies included)

Matches played 159

Chelsea wins 66

Man City wins 54

Draws 39