The vast majority of Leicester City fans surely never expected to see their side involved in the traditional showpiece curtain-raiser to the English season, the Community Shield. Those who did believe it was a possibility would likely have thought it would have come as a result of a freak run to the FA Cup trophy. Surely none could have anticipated Leicester going into the game as the Premier League champions.
But Leicester's success last season wasn't just in stringing together a few wins in a cup competition. For nine months and 38 games, Claudio Ranieri's squad was the best side in England. Movies and books are already being dedicated to how a team that narrowly escaped relegation the year before managed to become the 5,000 to 1 champions, but on Sunday against Manchester United at Wembley, Leicester will start answering the question of what comes next.
Will the title triumph be proved to be a total freak, or can it simply be the springboard to a period of sustained success? Certainly there are plenty writing Leicester off once again.
Can players who had the season of their lives last season, like Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater and Wes Morgan, really replicate that form over the coming campaign? Can a lineup that manager Claudio Ranieri was able to field with remarkable consistency last season cope with the extra demand of the Champions League? And how can Leicester replace one-man midfield N'Golo Kante, who has left for Chelsea?
The questions are unlikely to faze Ranieri, who navigated last season's miraculous campaign with incredible coolness and a genial sense of humor. And the Italian has maintained a positive outlook, despite Leicester conceding eight goals in defeats against European giants Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the past week.
There are reasons for optimism. Vardy elected to stay at the King Power Stadium, despite Arsenal triggering his release clause. And, although he is reportedly unsettled and the target of strong interest of Arsenal, last season's PFA Player of the Year, Mahrez, remains a Leicester player. Meanwhile, the club's big summer signing, Ahmed Musa, scored twice after coming off the bench against Barcelona in Sweden on Wednesday. Another attacking player has been added to the mix, too, this week, with Leicester completing the signing of exciting 19-year-old Poland winger Bartosz Kaputska. While unlikely to start, he could now feature for the first time in a Leicester shirt at Wembley on Sunday.
The Community Shield is also likely to feature several new Manchester United arrivals. Paul Pogba may yet to have signed on the dotted line, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly have already made their mark in preseason. And all three should start against Leicester as Jose Mourinho looks to fine tune his new-look team ahead of the start of the Premier League season a week later.
And he will be looking to an encouraging end to preparations for the new season that have not always been plain sailing. The trip to China last month certainly didn't go as planned, with United, which finished a disappointing fifth in the Premier League last season under Louis van Gaal, losing 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund and then having its second game against Manchester City called off at the last moment due to the unplayable state of the pitch in Beijing.
Since then both Wayne Rooney and Ibrahimovic have been introduced to form a new-look attacking partnership. Both were on the score sheet in a 5-2 win over Galatasaray, but couldn't find the net in a goalless draw against Everton on Wednesday in a match that acted as Rooney's testimonial.
Prediction: Neither team has had an ideal preseason and there is likely to be signs of teething problems at Wembley as both managers look to blend new players into the mix. Mourinho, though, will be determined to get some early silverware under his belt and should lead Manchester United to victory.
Predicted Score: Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City
Kickoff Time: Sunday, 11 a.m. EDT