Women’s Community Shield: WSL champions Chelsea take on FA Cup holders Man City

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Emma Hayes guided Chelsea to FA Cup glory over Arsenal at Wembley in 2018
Women’s Community Shield – Chelsea v Manchester City
Date: Saturday, 29 August Venue: Wembley Stadium, London Kick-off: 12:30 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One from 12:15 BST, live text coverage on the BBC Sport website and live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says “it never gets old” leading a team out at Wembley Stadium as they prepare for Saturday’s game against Manchester City in the Women’s Community Shield.

Women’s Super League champions Chelsea will face FA Cup holders City in the first of two matches on Saturday.

The men’s game between Liverpool and Arsenal follows in the first Community Shield double-header.

It will also be the first contest in the women’s competition since 2008.

“To think that [the Women’s Community Shield] hasn’t been in place seems very strange, but to bring it back at a time when people least expect it? I think it’s a great move by everybody,” said Hayes.

“If we have the competition on the men’s side, we should have it on the women’s side.”

Hayes said double headers in men’s and women’s football “gets lost somewhere under normal circumstances” but it’s a “fantastic decision” to hold one this year while there will be no fans in the 90,000-capacity stadium.

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor added: “We have to take our hats off to the FA for producing these two big games back-to-back, particularly as we are unable to have supporters there.”

The game will be shown live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and online from 12:15 BST on Saturday, with commentary also available on BBC Radio 5 Live.

On the Red Button there’ll be the option to watch the match with no crowd noise, plus viewers can also watch the match with 5 Live commentary.

All these options will be available on the iPlayer and BBC Sport website as well, along with the ability to watch the match with crowd noise only.

Could new signings make their debut?

Manchester City’s Sam Mewis (left), Chelsea’s Melanie Leupolz (centre) and Chloe Kelly (right)

Chelsea midfielders Melanie Leupolz and Silvana Flores, England youth international Niamh Charles and Canada’s Jessie Fleming all joined this summer and could make their debuts.

There could also be a return for England international Fran Kirby, who last featured in November 2019.

Meanwhile, City could hand competitive debuts to USA World Cup winner Sam Mewis, who signed from North Carolina Courage, and England international Chloe Kelly, who moved from Everton.

Taylor said it will be “a little bit too early” for USA’s Rose Lavelle, who City signed from OL Reign last week.

“Sam [Mewis] is currently just training with the squad. She made a small appearance at the weekend in the training match so all being well, hopefully,” said Taylor.

“We have been pulling together so well and everyone is really looking forward to this final game we have before the season starts.”

Hayes added: “I’m really happy with how everybody has settled and the quality in training has gone up so much.

“They’re going to make my life even harder because picking a team from week-to-week is going to be really challenging because there’s going to be a lot of really strong players on the bench.”

‘Hopefully we can share moment again’

Both the men’s and the women’s Community Shield matches will be held behind closed doors at Wembley

Manchester City completed a domestic cup double by beating West Ham at Wembley in 2019 to lift the FA Cup for a second time in three years.

But it will be a different experience this year in front of an empty stadium.

“I really do feel the support from our fans. We would love to be at Wembley with our fans there with us,” said Taylor. “Unfortunately the situation dictates that that can’t happen.

“Hopefully in the not too distant future we will be able to share that moment again with them and once everything is safe to do so, we are really looking forward to that.”

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