Premier League champions Chelsea will compete against FA Cup holders Arsenal on Sunday, 3pm kick off time. The game will take place at Wembley. Arsenal will be looking to win their 14th Community Shield, with Chelsea trying to bag their 5th.
Pre Season Form
Chelsea have been competing in the International Champions Cup. They have played three games so far, all in the USA. They started off with a 4-2 defeat against New York Red Bulls. That was followed with two draws, against Paris St Germain and Barcelona. It has not been the best of pre-seasons, results wise, for the Premier League champions. But I fully expect them to kick into gear before the season starts.
Arsenal have had a great pre-season so far. It began in Singapore, where they lifted the Asia trophy. A 4-0 victory over Singapore X1 in the semi-final. Followed by a 3-1 win over Everton in the final. Arsenal then returned home and won the Emirates Cup in their own backyard. A fantastic display saw them demolish Lyon, 6-0. They then beat Wolfsburg 1-0 to secure the cup.
I expect both managers to choose a strong team. Both will want to get one over early on in the season against their bitter rivals. The war of words between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho has already begun, with Mourinho questioning how much Arsenal have spent on players over the past few seasons. These two really don’t like each other – which makes it all the more exciting for us to watch.
Arsenal will have almost a completely fit squad to choose from. Danny Welbeck is the only injury concern. Alexis Sanchez is still on holiday after his exploits at the Copa America. Petr Cech is likely to make his competitive debut for his new club against the team he left only weeks ago.
Chelsea will also be near to full strength. Gary Cahill is a slight doubt after he was forced off in the last pre-season game. Diego Costa was also taken off in the same game. If he isn’t fit in time to face Arsenal, then new signing Radamel Falcao could make his Chelsea debut.
Arsene Wenger will be looking to defeat a Jose Mourinho team for the first time in his career. He will be hoping that his key players perform well. Petr Cech could have a big part to play for his new team, and Francis Coquelin could be key if he maintains his form from last season. In attack Arsenal will be relying on the skills of Santi Cazorla, the vision of Mesut Ozil, and the pace of Theo Walcott.
Chelsea usually put in a good performance on the big stage. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will prove difficult to get past. John Terry is still one of the best centre-backs in the country. The PFA player of the year Eden Hazard will look to use his trickery to break down the Arsenal defence. Finally there’s Diego Costa, if fit. One of the best goalscorers in the Premiership.
The Community Shield is viewed as just another pre-season game by many people. I don’t agree. It is the Premier League champions battling against the FA Cup winners, and thus a tussle for pride. Both will be looking to add more silverware to their collection. It also symbolises the beginning of the new footballing season.
I expect it to be a close game. Chelsea will look to frustrate Arsenal by getting men behind the ball, and hitting them on the counter-attack. Arsenal will play their natural game, looking to keep the ball and find a way to break down the opponents defence. It will be a huge contrast in styles between the two teams. I think the first goal could prove to be crucial. I am going to go for Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal.