Community Shield Preview - Arsenal v. Manchester City

Ready for Battle: Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini Credit: Press Association Images

The annual curtain-raiser for a new football season kicks off this afternoon at Wembley as champions Manchester City take on FA Cup winners Arsenal.

And although the Community Shield may not be priority number one for either team, this week's war of words between Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini has added spice to the encounter.

On Monday the Arsenal manager questioned the motives behind Frank Lampard's move to the Etihad.

He suggested the move had been a ploy to get round Financial Fair Play rules by ensuring Lampard signed for City's sister club New York City FC on loan first.

Pellegrini refuted the claim saying Lampard had been a free agent after Chelsea decided not to renew his contract.

The City manager hit back at Wenger saying:

"As managers we have enough problems with our teams without talking about other teams."

Frank Lampard in action against Manchester City Credit: Press Association Images

As for Lampard he will play no part at Wembley as he's not yet match-ready.

Bacary Sagna, on loan from Arsenal will also miss out due to a lack of fitness.

The other five City players who participated in the later rounds of the World Cup - Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Fernandinho and Vincent Kompany - have been put on a separate pre-season training programme and are also unavailable.

For Arsenal new signings Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Callum Chambers could all make their debuts.

City's recent record at Wembley is mixed.

The 2013 defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup final marked the end of Roberto Mancini's reign but last season's victory over Sunderland in the League Cup final may have exercised some of the ghosts of that day.

In their last Community Shield outing in 2012 the Citizens defeated Chelsea 3-2 at Villa Park.