To some, the Community Shield is little more than a glorified friendly. But you can guarantee Pep Guardiola will take Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea this Sunday pretty much as seriously as any game he’ll be on the touchline for this season.
Nonetheless, there are some nuances to consider, particularly whether involving players who have fitness concerns is a risk worth taking for essentially a meaningless cup final.
That’s exactly the position Riyad Mahrez is in; the tricky winger came off against Bayern Munich with a nasty-looking knock and although the seriousness of the injury has since been downplayed, it would be incredibly frustrating for City’s club-record signing to aggravate the problem on Sunday – less than a week before the Premier League season officially gets underway.
With that in mind, we asked City fans earlier this week whether they’d risk starting Mahrez in hope of beginning the new season with a big win, or leave him out of Guardiola’s XI to make sure he’s ready for the Premier League campaign.
And our poll revealed that City supporters are actually relatively split on the issue, a with slim majority of 59% voting to start the Algerian international at Wembley. Who else would you like to see included in Guardiola’s side this weekend? Let us know by commenting below…