The FA Community Shield presents the first opportunity to win Silverware for English teams at the start of each season. This year’s edition features FA Cup winners Leicester City facing League winners Manchester City. Kelechi Iheanacho is one man on whom focus will be on. The Nigerian forward is facing his former club, Man City & his former manager in Pep Guardiola. The winners at Wembley on Saturday will replace last year’s winners Arsenal as Community Shield Champions.
IHEANACHO & LEICESTER
Leicester enjoyed a historic 2020/2021 campaign. Brendan Rodgers’ team spent the majority of the season in the top 4 of the Premier League. They narrowly missed out on a Champions League spot no thanks to an end of season slump. A 4-2 loss to Tottenham on the last day of the season confirmed they finished fifth. The Foxes however beat Chelsea 1-0 in the FA Cup final to lift the trophy for the first time in their history.
Kelechi Iheanacho is one of the key men largely responsible for Leicester’s success last season. Iheanacho enjoyed an unpredictable career revival which proved timely and crucial for his team. The forward only had a small role in the club earlier, playing backup to Jamie Vardy. Iheanacho transformed to become Leicester’s key man in the second half of the season scoring crucial goals along the way. He finished as Leicester’s top scorer with 19 goals and 7 assists in 39 total appearances. Iheanacho will also hope to get some revenge against his former club Manchester City especially former manager Pep Guardiola. Guardiola took over at City in 2016 and unceremoniously discarded a young Iheanacho to Leicester a year later. A win against Man. City could feel good and bring Leicester their first ever Community Shield.
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GUARDIOLA & MANCHESTER CITY
Pep Guardiola led Man City to another stellar season in 2020/21. They won their 3rd League Title in 4 years setting an English record of 21 consecutive wins in all competitions including 15 straight Premier League wins. The Citizens also won their 4th straight League Cup under Guardiola. The Citizens were on course for the treble until their 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the Champions League final.
It’s safe to say Pep Guardiola has built a super team at Manchester City. They have such squad depth of quality players that the loss of players like Leroy Sane did not affect them. Their recent £100m acquisition of Jack Grealish is evidence that they’re not stopping. The Community Shield will be another opportunity for them to show the rest of the League a glimpse of what to come. The Champions League final was only Guardiola’s 2nd loss in 16 finals and he’ll be keen to avoid another loss.
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HEAD TO HEAD
Manchester City have a superior head-to-head record over Leicester. In 122 games between both clubs, City have won 62 while Leicester have won 31 times. The pair have 29 draws between them. Leicester recorded a remarkable 5-2 win at the Etihad last season but City won the reverse fixture 2-0.