This weekend sees the curtain raiser to the new Premier League season take place at Wembley as Champions Chelsea take on their local rivals and FA Cup Winners Arsenal in the Community Shield 2015, below you will find our preview and some tasty thoughts on the betting markets.
Community Shield 2015 Preview
Neither team have gone mad in the Summer transfer window with Chelsea’s marquee signing so far being the loan of Radamel Falcao, who’s loan move to Manchester United last season didn’t turn out to be the move most people expected, however Jose Mourinho will be looking to prove he is the man to turn around his form and get him back to his very best.
Chelsea have also spent £8m on former Stoker keeper Asmir Begovic whilst Arsenal have done the most interesting business so far, bringing in former Chelsea keeper Petr Cech for a fee believed to be in the region of £10m. He is expected to start on Sunday against his former club but he will no doubt receive a warm reception from both sets of supporters.
Arsenal have been the in form pre-season team with 4 wins from 4 matches scoring 14 goals and only conceding one, whereas Chelsea have not yet won their first game but they did fight out a draw against current European Champions Barcelona.
Chelsea are expected to be without their top goalscorer Diego Costa who limped out of their pre-season game against Barcelona whilst Gary Cahill is also doubtful after suffering a broken nose in the same game.
Arsenal on the other hand don’t have any fresh injury concerns and could welcome back their record signing Alexis Sanchez after he is expected to recover from the injury suffered at the Copa America.
I think this game will mean a lot to both teams but having watched quite a bit of pre-season I have been more and more impressed with Arsenal and with confidence growing I expect them to edge this one with their London rivals, my prediction is Arsenal to win 2-1.
Community Shield 2015 Betting
From a betting perspective I love the 1st Goalscorer market but this one is even more intriguing with so many players capable of finding the back of the net.
With Diego Costa likely to be missing Falcao will more than likely lead the line on his own and although he will be out to prove his doubters wrong, I will have to see a lot more from him before I trust putting a penny behind him, Eden Hazard is always a good bet at best priced 15/2 with Paddy Power as he is the class act in the blues’ side.
It is the Arsenal market that I will be investing in however. Olivier Giroud will more than likely play up top on his own, so 13/2 for the front man is good value, however the man on form and another great 1st goalscorer bet when fit is Theo Walcott who is available at a best price 8/1. He always seems to know when to time his runs in to the box and his pace could be too much for the aging Chelsea defence. He is my bet of the match.