The Community Shield (formerly known as the Charity Shield) is unlikely to be a friendly affair as Arsenal will be keen to quickly add another trophy to their collection after an 8 year gap between winning their last two, whilst Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, having won the Premiership in his debut season, will be keen to stamp Manchester City’s superiority over one of their title rivals.
On paper, City still look to have the stronger, and more settled, squad despite Pellegrini having only bought in a couple of new players, Fernando and Willy Caballero, since last season (mainly due to their over-spending fine), whilst Arsenal’s summer signings (spent nearly £50 million), Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez are likely to feature in today’s match.
Both teams also have slight injury problems as Alvaro Negredo has a foot injury and David Ospina a thigh problem, whilst Giroud is short of match fitness (though may feature at some point).
Those of you who love statistics will be interested to know that Arsenal have managed to win only one of the last eight fixtures between the teams with Manchester City winning four and three draws. Arsenal have also lost four of their last six games at Wembley.
However, despite Manchester City winning the Community Shield four-times they have never won it at Wembley, whilst Arsenal beat Manchester United there in 1999 and won it again in 2004.
90 – Minute Betting
City are the rightful favourites at a best-priced 11/8 with Arsenal 11/5 and the draw 13/5 – and I think City’s more settled side should prevail.
Manchester City 11/8
Twenty goals have been scored in the last five Community Shields and, with both teams keen to win, but wanting to avoid injury through needless challenges, the high-scoring trend looks likely to continue.
You can get 8/11 that three or more goals are scored and 2/1 that four or more are scored – and both will be tempting to the big-hitters.
However, the value bets may come in backing City to win 3-1 (19/1) and 3-2 (28/1), whilst a saver on 3-3 (50/1) looks worth sticking in their in the hope that the game is that exciting.
Manchester City 3-1 19/1
Manchester City 3-2 28/1
Draw 3-3 50/1
Despite fancying City to prevail after 90 minutes, the value looks to lie in one of the Arsenal players to score first. Chilean hitman Sanchez (8/1) gained himself plenty more fans in the World Cup, and the ex-Barcelona striker is unlikely to be overawed by playing his debut at Wembley, whilst Aaron Ramsey (12/1) started last season on fire and may rise to the big occasion.