THE curtain raiser to the season takes place on Sunday between Arsenal and Chelsea. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his thoughts.
Arsenal v Chelsea | Sunday 15:00 | BT Sport 1
Ah, the annual puzzle of the Community Shield. On Sunday league winners Chelsea face FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley with the first ‘trophy’ of the season up for grabs.
If you like to factor pre-season into your thoughts here then it’s Arsenal who are the bet. The North London club have won all their warm up matches this summer, picked up two trophies and beat Lyon 6-0 in the Emirates Cup. They’ve looked slick and easy on the eye.
For Chelsea there was the 4-2 defeat to New York Red Bulls with poor Asmir Begovic taking the heat and draws against Paris St Germain and Barcelona.
Chelsea’s record in this match over the last decade is a pretty poor one. Since 2005 they’ve played in the curtain raiser six times and picked up the trophy on two occasions. Under Jose Mourinho’s management they are P3 W1 D1 L1, the drawn game saw them lose on penalties to Manchester United.
For Arsenal it’s a far rosier picture. Under Arsene Wenger they’ve participated in this match seven times and came away victorious on five occasions. The stats read P7 W5 D1 L1.
So it’s Arsenal that have the better Community Shield profile, but of course there’s a sub-plot to this match involving the managers. Mourinho has never lost to Wenger in 13 matches. They’re not particularly fond of each other so you can imagine it’s something the Portuguese holds dear in his ego.
He’ll have no desire to start the season off by losing that record so despite the fact Arsenal look the most likely winners I’m not prepared to believe that Chelsea will lose on Sunday. When a plan needs to be forced through there’s no team better than Chelsea in seeing it out.
I’ll back the draw here at 5/2 and back 1-1 and 2-2 Correct Scores at 13/2 and 15/1 respectively. Five of the last six Community Shields have gone Over 2.5 Goals.
Arsenal v Chelsea – Draw (5/2 Bet365)
Arsenal v Chelsea – 1-1 Draw (13/2 888 Sport)
Arsenal v Chelsea – 2-2 Draw (15/1 888 Sport)
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