The flagship opening match of the English football season has come round once again with FA Cup winners Arsenal taking on Premier League champions Chelsea in an eagerly anticipated curtain raiser at Wembley on Sunday. Chelsea will be looking to build on the huge success of last season domestically whilst Arsenal will be hoping to kick on from their FA Cup win and get back amongst English football’s elite.
Community Shield – Arsenal v Chelsea 06/06/17.
- Kick off 14:00 GMT
- Wembley Stadium
- Sunderland – Best Odds 13/8 (Ladbrokes)
- Derby – Best Odds 2/1 (Sky Bet)
- Draw – Best Odds 5/2 (BetFair)
Arsenal’s 2016/17 campaign was saved by them clinching the FA Cup back in May. Arsene Wenger’s men found themselves finishing outside of the Champions League qualification places for the first time in over 20 years and there has been growing unrest with fans and players alike. The ‘Wenger Out’ campaign has subsided for now with the Frenchman signing a new 2 year deal in the summer and he will be hoping his men can start with a bang at Wembley on Sunday.
In terms of summer spending, Alexander Lacazette is their marquee acquisition with the striker arriving from Lyon for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £45 million. Sead Kolasinac has also arrived from Schalke and has impressed in pre-season, adding some pace to a famously static defence.
No big names have left the Gunners as yet and Wenger will be praying that remains the same up until the end of the transfer window. Mezut Ozil reaffirmed his commitment to the club over the summer and the North Londoners will be praying Alexis Sanchez demonstrates the same affiliation to the club before the end of the month.
Antonio Conte’s men were simply too good in 2016/17 and ended up winning the premier league at a canter. The creative prowess of Hazard, Fabregas and Pedro, coupled with the industry of Kante and the goals of Diego Costa led Chelsea to their 5th Premier League crown. The departure of John Terry will take some getting used to for the Chelsea players and fans alike, who will be hoping they can carry on where they left off last term.
In terms of arrivals, Chelsea have kept pace with both Manchester clubs and spent some substantial sums on some of European football’s biggest names. Alvaro Morata has arrived to lead the line, for around £65 million, whilst they have added Antonio Rudiger (£29 million from Roma) to sure up the defence and Tiemoue Bakayoko (£38 million from Monaco) to bolster a very sure looking midfield. Conte will be hoping his team can kick on from last year and will see the Community Shield as an opportunity to set his team’s stall out.
John Terry is synonymous with Chelsea FC and will be missed but very rarely played last term. The Blues have trimmed the squad dramatically without getting rid of too many big names. One exception to this is Nemanja Matic, who has teamed up with Jose Mourinho once more at Manchester United, for £40 million.
Head to Head
Arsenal edge the historical head to head with a 72:62 lead with 54 competitive draws also taking place between the two English giants. Last season the teams met 3 times in all competitions. Arsenal thrashed Chelsea 3-0 back in September 2016 whilst Chelsea returned the favour with a comfortable 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in February 2017. The most recent match between the two teams may be the most relevant with Arsenal clinching the FA Cup against Chelsea at Wembley, in May with a 2-1 victory.
Odds and Predictions
Although the game is technically a friendly, there is plenty of rivalry between these two teams and with a trophy at stake, there’s sure to be a competitive feel to the match. Chelsea go in as favourites having displayed the better pre-season form (they beat Arsenal in China 3-0 in July) and can be backed at 5/4 with Bet Victor. Arsenal’s job looks quite tough at 9/4 with Bet 365 whilst the draw over 90 minutes is 13/5 with Betfair
The ‘To Lift the Trophy’ market offers a chance to back Chelsea at odds of 8/11 or Arsneal at 6/4, with the security of not losing your money if a team wins on extra-time or penalties.
The timing of this fixture in the season means it’s very hard to judge the approach both teams will adopt but Chelsea have looked assured in pre-season and Antonio Conte very rarely doesn’t have a clear formation/game plan. As mentioned, Arsenal suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Chelsea in China just a couple of weeks ago and the form book would suggest there could be a very similar outcome here.
Chelsea to win and both teams to score is 3/1 with Ladbrokes which seems good value whilst Chelsea to be leading at Half Time and Full Time is a tempting 27/10 with BetVictor. Score predictions are always tough in early season matches but with both teams wanting to make an impression a 2-1 result could be a shrewd bet. Chelsea are 17/2 with Paddy Power to win 2-1 whilst Arsenal are 11/1 to win by the same score line.
Top Betting Tip
Our top betting tip for this match is for Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 3/1 with Ladbrokes.