Chelsea v Manchester City
FA Community Shield
Sunday, August 12
Both sides will be missing players involved in Euro 2012 and the Olympics. Chelsea new-boy Oscar won’t take part in the action because of Brazil’s Olympic final appearance against Mexico on Saturday, while for Manchester City Micah Richards will also be absent.
Gareth Barry is injured still but David Silva and Mario Balotelli could feature despite their participation in Euro 2012.
Having been left out of England’s squad to face Italy next week, both Ashley Cole and John Terry are in contention to start. Marko Marin is unavailable.
Di Matteo going all out for winning start
Roberto di Matteo insists he will be fielding the strongest team available to him for Sunday’s Chelsea Community Shield encounter against Manchester City at Villa Park.
Both Chelsea and City have had their pre-season preparations disrupted thanks to Euro 2012 and the Olympics, with a host of key players not yet at full fitness for the game on Sunday.
That has reflected on Chelsea’s results as they gear up for the new season; their sole win came in their very first game of pre-season against the Seattle Sounders, while they have tasted defeat in their last three outings.
However di Matteo is anticipating his side to be gunning for victory on Sunday, and the Italian says he will pick his best side to ensure just that.
'Everybody apart from Marko Marin is fit and available and I will select the final team tomorrow after the last training,' Di Matteo told Chelseafc.com.
'It's certainly going to be a strong team, keeping in mind the stage where the players are, they are at different stages, but it will be a strong team.
'There is always competition for places and I try to keep it as open as possible for people fighting for places. We've only had some of the players back this week from the Olympics and it will take a bit of time to find the right players in the right positions.
‘We have a couple of new players but a lot of them have been here before and know each other.'
Despite his confidence Di Matteo knows he is in for a difficult game against City, and predicts the Premier League champions will once more be the team to beat this season.
“Everybody will be chasing them. They have a good squad, a good team and when you are at the top it is hard to stay at the top,' said the Italian. 'There will be plenty of clubs trying to catch them up this season.
'There was a big gap last season and that's one of our challenges this season, to try and bridge it. Twenty-five points was a lot, and we have a tough season ahead trying to compete.
'There are a lot of very good teams this season, it seems the Premier League is getting more balanced every year. They have a good squad and will be difficult to catch but that's the job of all the oth