The curtain-raiser for the new campaign sees football return to Wembley for the first time since the Euro 2020 final.
The first league game of the season is always a notable one regardless of which team you support in any division – but for top-flight fans in England, the actual ‘start’ comes one week earlier with the Community Shield.
While in truth, most teams use it as a glorified friendly and part of their pre-season preparations now, given the match is at Wembley, has to be earned to be a part of and will again have fans out in full force, both sides are likely to want to put on a show and emerge victoriously.
This year, Leicester City will face Manchester City after the two clubs picked up the major domestic prizes last season.
The Foxes won the FA Cup final, beating Chelsea thanks to a spectacular Youri Tielemans goal. At the same time, Pep Guardiola’s City side stormed to another Premier League title – they’re third in four years. Somewhat ironically, their status as champions was confirmed after Leicester themselves beat Man United in May.
The 2021 FA Community Shield (also known as The FA Community Shield supported by McDonald’s for sponsorship reasons) will be the 99th FA Community Shield. An annual football match played between the winners of the previous season’s Premier League, Manchester City, and the last season’s FA Cup, Leicester City. This will be Manchester City’s first FA Community Shield since 2019, when they beat Liverpool 5–4 on penalties after a 1–1 draw, and Leicester’s first since losing 2–1 to Manchester United in the 2016 edition.
Leicester City won their first FA Cup title after beating Chelsea 1–0 in the final. They are appearing to their third Community Shield match, having won one in 1971, and lost one in 2016)
Manchester City won their third Premier League title in four years under the management of Pep Guardiola, after derby rivals Manchester United lost 1–2 to Leicester City at Old Trafford on 11 May 2021. They are appearing in their 13th match,having won six,(1937, 1968, 1972, 2012, 2018, 2019),and lost six (1934, 1956, 1969, 1973, 2011, 2014)
When is the Community Shield?
The match takes place at Wembley in London on Saturday 7 August, with a 5 pm kick-off.
Where have the teams been in pre-season?
Leicester embarked on a series of friendlies against lower-league domestic sides, facing the likes of Wycombe and QPR this summer.
They also played Villarreal in a higher-profile home-friendly, winning the match but at a cost – defender Wesley Fofana had a severe injury in the game. He will miss the opening months of the season.
At the end of July, Man City similarly faced domestic opposition in Preston before heading to France to meet Troyes – another team owned by the City Football Group. That was called off due to Coronavirus restrictions, with City instead beating Blackpool in their last warm-up.
Community Shield: What has been said?
Man City may field a team full of Under-23s in the Community Shield against Leicester, Pep Guardiola has claimed.
Guardiola said: “Just three or four players from the first team [are currently available], every week more players are coming.
“Hopefully, they come back, and they can train, and they don’t have to rest or be isolated.
“I know we don’t have time because we have the Community Shield, but we’re going to play with a second team, and we’re going to train.
So it much depends on which players are fit and available, but three of the last four Community Shields have been decided by penalty shootouts – we’ll guess the same happens again here.