The annual curtain raiser to the start of yet another English top flight campaign sees the FA Cup holders Chelsea go head to head with Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions.
The two heavyweights are heading into the campaign full of renewed hope, with the Blues under new management and the Citizens coming off the back of a record breaking 100-point season.
A plethora of players are yet to return or be cleared for action following their World Cup involvement for both sides, so here is a combined XI for those set to be involved at Wembley on Sunday afternoon…
1. GK – Ederson
Manchester City’s number one was a prominent force for Pep Guardiola last season after keeping 16 clean sheets and impressing with his distribution.
With Thibaut Courtois yet to return, and also subject to links with Real Madrid, the Brazilian is a straightforward choice ahead of Willy Caballero.
2. RB – César Azpilicueta
One of Chelsea’s most consistent performers in Azpilicueta could not be overlooked, so he takes up the position at left-back despite largely featuring on the right side of defence – but he’s that good he can cover almost all positions across the back line.
The 28-year-old is as experienced as they come and in a moment of need you can always rely on him to get you out of danger.
3. LB – Marcos Alonso
With regular City full backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy likely out of contention due to prolonged World Cup campaigns, both Chelsea players are shoo-ins for the wide defensive posts.
Alonso was one of Chelsea’s standout performers in a disappointing season, scoring seven times as he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.
4. CB – Antonio Rudiger
Antonio Rudiger grew into his role at Stamford Bridge last season following his move from Roma, where he quickly made Chelsea a tougher proposition in the defensive third.
The 25-year-old narrowly edges out Nicolás Otamendi in the role simply for his athleticism and defensive awareness, which make him more of a complete defender.
5. CB – Aymeric Laporte
Another player unaffected by this summer’s World Cup, Laporte will hope to use the Community Shield to prove he deserves to be a starter for Man City in 2018/19.
The French centre back played just 13 times in the latter half of last season following his £57m move from Athletic Bilbao.
6. CDM – Jorginho
Jorginho is as exciting as they come, and while many (including Guardiola) expected him to be featuring for City in this clash it is Chelsea who came up trumps.
The former Napoli man is key to Maurizio Sarri’s style of play and triggers action in the final third with his impeccable passing accuracy – making him the perfect link man from defence to attack.
7. CM – Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas’s ability to control the tempo of the game and take responsibility in the middle of the field sees him edge out his younger rivals.
The 31-year-old still has the ability to be a difference maker, and will add further experience alongside both Jorginho and David Silva in the centre of the park.
8. CM – David Silva
How could Silva not make a combined XI?
With each passing year throughout his eight-year spell with City the Spaniard has grown into a more complete player.
Silva appears to have every attribute required to be considered within the top echelon of players, and if you are in any doubt his place in Guardiola’s side led to a run of 25 games unbeaten last term – the longest steak of any player in England’s top flight since 1888.
9. RW – Riyad Mahrez
With Raheem Sterling yet to return from World Cup duties Riyad Mahrez has the opportunity to stake an early claim for a position in the final third ahead of the season proper – despite having picked up an ankle injury last week.
The 27-year-old’s addition to the City squad adds further depth to an already star studded attacking contingent.
Although if Eden Hazard were around this position could have found itself under different ownership…
10. LW – Leroy Sane
Fresh from an entire summer off – we won’t go into the why again – Leroy Sane is poised to build on the campaign which saw him lauded as the Young Player of the Year following a predominant role in City’s title winning season which yielded ten goals and 15 assists.
With the Blues yet to see their full compliment of players return, the 22-year-old safely qualifies as a member of the combined XI.
11. ST – Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero slots into the striking position with little threat after yet another stunning season last term which returned 30 goals across all competitions, where he will no doubt pick up from where he left off as the 2018/19 campaign kicks-off.
With Alvaro Morata having struggled to show even a slice of the cool finishing often on display by the Argentinian in his debut season in England, it’s was a no brainer as to who got the nod.