Manchester City vs. Chelsea: Key Battles to Watch in Community Shield

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Manchester City vs. Chelsea: Key Battles to Watch in Community Shield
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The long wait is almost over.

The new Premier League season is a meager nine days away, while the first bit of competitive action comes in the form of the traditional FA Community Shield game.

English giants Manchester City and Chelsea lock horns at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon for this season opener.

More about prestige than anything else, the Charity Shield, as it used to be called, is something of a prelude to the Premier League.

It is often the case that the winner at this showpiece event also goes on to take the league title. But the outcome needn't always be a sign of things to come. Allow me to elucidate.

The events from the last season show us that nothing's a given in the beautiful game. While Manchester United were the ones who staged a spectacular comeback from two goals down to win the Community Shield, Manchester City bagged the Premier League title on a wacky final day.

The significance of the game is not in question, given that the team that comes out on top will gain a  psychological edge of sorts. Silverware is silverware, after all. Both managers would be tempted to field strong lineups.

I, for one, will have my eyes fixated on a number of individual battles that could be critical. Here are some of the feisty contests you too should look out for.

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