Many people view the Community Shield as the start of the football season in England and even though it is really just a showpiece friendly between last seasons Premier League and FA Cup winners, it is a chance to get a gauge on how the top teams are getting on with just a week to go until the first round of Premier League matches.
Arsenal finished last season in 5th place, but went on to win the FA Cup against Sunday’s opponents Chelsea. Manager Arsene Wenger faced speculation about his future for much of last season, but he put those rumours to bed by signing an extension at the end of the last term and now Arsenal supporters really need to get behind the Premier League’s longest serving manager if they are to be successful this season.
So far this summer Wenger has brought in Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke and Alexandre Lacazette for £46.4m from Lyon. Lacazette could well turn out to be a huge coup for the club if he can continue his goal scoring form from last season. If Alexis Sanchez stays and he can form a successful link up with Mesut Ozil and Lacazette then it could well be an exciting season for Arsenal fans.
Antonio Conte won the Premier League title in his first season at Chelsea, but he has experienced a frustrating summer this time around, missing out on the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Danilo. The club have still spent heavily in the transfer market though, bringing in Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid for £58m, Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco for £39.7m and Antonio Rudiger from Roma for £33.3m amongst others.
A number of players have left the club this summer including Nemanja Matic, Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake, John Terry and Juan Cuadrado and Conte’s squad look a little short on numbers heading into the new season. The Italian is available at odds of 10/1 (Ladbrokes) to be the first manager to leave his post this season and unless he gets his targets in before the end of the transfer window, he could well walk away from the club.
- Battle of the big money strikers; Who will come out on top between Lacazette and Morata?
- Both sides are expected to line up with a 3-4-3 formation after Wenger attempted to copy Conte’s winning formula at the end of last season. Will either manager try something different?
- Arsenal won the FA Cup Final 2-1 in May at Wembley, will we see a repeat result on Sunday?
I think a repeat of the same score line from the FA Cup Final could happen on Sunday, with Arsenal picking up a narrow victory.