The time has arrived. The traditional fixture to kick off the 2012-13 English football season is upon us, and it’s the first FA Community Shield in six years that doesn’t feature Manchester United.
It’s been a wet early afternoon in Birmingham, the host city for today’s FA Community Shield between league champions Manchester City and FA Cup winners Chelsea.
Let’s jump right in to the team news from Villa Park:
Chelsea team: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry (C), Luiz, Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Torres.
Manchester City team: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Savic, Clichy, Milner, De Jong, Y Toure, Nasri, Aguero, Tevez.
Joe Hart is ruled out with a back injury that will also force him to miss England’s midweek friendly against Italy. Mario Balotell is out sick with pink eye. Joleon Lescott is also out injured.
On to the Chelsea team, I’m surprised that David Luiz is starting as he’s expected to play for Brazil in their mid-week friendly. Without a doubt, it’s Chelsea who has the luxury of fielding a full team against a Manchester City side that is slightly weakened due to injuries. Savic will be the one weakness that Chelsea will try to exploit.
For viewers in the United States, the match kicks off at 8:30am ET today on FOX Soccer.
Before, during or after today’s Community Shield, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.