Five questions to ponder in the Community Shield
London: FA Cup holders Arsenal face Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday. Here are five talking points heading into the traditional curtain raiser to the top-flight season in England:
Will Sanchez make a good first impression?
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger splashed out £35 million on Chile forward Alexis Sanchez in the hope the former Barcelona star can provide the kind of game-changing brilliance that can turn a team from title pretenders into serious contenders for the English crown.
In the absence of the injured Theo Walcott, the 25-year-old is likely to start on the right wing, where he has been deployed for much of his career, but Wenger believes he can also be a major threat as a striker.
Either way, Sanchez needs to get off to the kind of fast start that eluded Arsenal`s club record signing Mesut Ozil last term.
Can Toure have his cake and eat it?
Yaya Toure was the colossus at the heart of City`s surge to the title last season, but the Ivory Coast midfielder heads into the new campaign with concerns over his commitment to the champions after a series of disputes.
Toure`s agent bizarrely criticised City for failing to provide him with a cake for his birthday, and then more seriously suggested the player had not been allowed to spend time with his dying brother.
Despite suggestions he was trying to engineer a move back to his old club Barcelona, Toure is adamant he wants to stay, but actions will speak louder than words at Wembley.
`New Adams` Chambers must justify Wenger`s faith
Wenger continued to plunder Southampton for young English talent when he paid £16 million deal to sign Calum Chambers in pre-season, then immediately added to the weight of expectations on the teenage defender`s shoulders by hailing his new acquisition as the next Tony Adams.
The 19-year-old has made only 20 starts in his promising career, with most coming at right-back, but Wenger, who also signed Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton in the past, sees Chambers as a heir to Adams, whose defensive acumen and passion made him an Arsenal legend, and has already moved the youngster to centre-back in the Gunners` pre-season matches.
Fernando aims to be a City slicker
City fans should get their first glimpse of the man nicknamed `the Octopus` as Fernando prepares for his debut in the midfield holding role.
Signed from Porto for £12 million, the gangly Fernando earned his memorable label after he continually dispossessed Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney with his long legs during a Champions League match against Manchester United in 2009.
More of the same in a City shirt this weekend would quickly endear the Brazilian to his new team.
Jovetic back in the firing line
Plagued by injury and illness last season, Stevan Jovetic endured a frustrating first campaign in the Premier League, but the Montenegro striker is back to full fitness and showing why City boss Manuel Pellegrini bought him from Fiorentina for £22 million.
Given the chance to start while Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo recover from injuries, Jovetic has already scored four times in City`s warm-up matches, prompting Pellegrini to say: "If he`s fit all year, he will be a very important player for us."