Trophies that are important (i.e.: NOT the Community Shield)
Two years and four days ago, the second ever post on this here website was Graham's preview for the 2010 FA Community Shield. Chelsea were both Premier League and FA Cup champions and thus they faced Manchester United, the league runner-ups. Kudos to you if you remember offhand the outcome of that match. (Chelsea lost 1-3, then went on to smash their first two Premier League opponents 6-0.)
Last year's edition of this exercise saw the two Manchester teams face off against each other, with United coming up trumps once again. City had lead 2-0 at the break, but collapsed and ceded the "trophy" to Nani's last-gasp winner. The only good that did, of course, was to propel United to a spectacular late-season collapse, ceding the title to their in-city rivals in the process. Oops.
So then, let's review: Preseason. Still. Last one. Next week, it counts. This week, not so much. Unless you win it. And even then, not really.
Date/Time: Sunday, August 12th, 13:30 BST / 8:30am EDT
Wembley Stadium Villa Park, Birmingham
TV: ITV 1 (UK) / FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Deportes (USA)
Sorry, got distracted there for a minute with Chelsea TV and their full-match replay of Chelsea v. Feyenoord from 1999-00 Champions League. I love how Di Matteo is bridging the good vibes from that fun team to this current edition! Hopefully he won't be similarly bridging that team's inconsistency as I'm sure the euphoria from the Champions League Title won't last for too long.
So anyway...final preseason match. The proceeds of this one go to charity, so that's nice.
Roberto Di Matteo has promised a "strong team", which sounds about right for a squad where one certainly would have think fairly hard to come up with a "weak" lineup. Even without Oscar (in action for Brazil in Saturday's Gold Medal match!) and a mysteriously/worryingly injured Marko Marin, the attacking options on this team are plentiful; the defense is healthy and solid; the central midfield adequate.
A similar mix of adjectives also applies to Manchester City*, so the potential for a truly cracking match is certainly there. Which most certainly means a droll 0-0 draw, followed by a penalty shootout. Fun!
*And that's despite City signing a grand total of ZERO players so far this summer. Zero! Talk about resting on your laurels...