Gareth Barry and Micah Richards have both been ruled out of Manchester City’s Community Shield encounter with Chelsea at Villa Park on Sunday. Barry, who missed England’s Euro 2012 campaign, is continuing to struggle with a hip injury, while Richards suffered an ankle problem during his stint with Team GB at the Olympic Games.
Midfielder Barry, 31, had a hernia operation last month and is hopeful of being fit for the start of the new Premier League season. City boss Roberto Mancini will not be able to call on the pair. However, Mario Balotelli and David Silva are expected to be on the bench following their Euros excursions with Italy and Spain respectively. Chelsea’s Marko Marin will miss the clash. Summer signing Marin has been suffering with a hamstring injury for several days and will sit out the curtain-raiser. The Blues have no other injury concerns for the match. City captain Vincent Kompany has a calf problem, but is expected to be fit to take his place in the squad. The 26-year-old was forced to fly home from City’s tour of Asia and has not played since picking up the strain.
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has claimed that he will field a “strong” side against the Premier League champions this weekend.