Arsenal vs Chelsea Community Shield 2015 preview: Team news …
The game is officially billed as a friendly contest, but it is set to be anything but – at least, if Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger’s exchanges this week are anything to go by.
The Chelsea boss accused Arsenal, and indeed both Manchester clubs, of trying to buy their way to Premier League success in recent years, which resulted in Wenger insisting statistics would prove his doubters wrong.
The renewed rivalry between the pair has added more spice to a match that will also see Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech come up against his former side for the first time since leaving Stamford Bridge this summer.
But when and where is the game?
And which club is the favourite to win – Premier League champions Chelsea or reigning Community Shield holders Arsenal?
Read below to find out the answers to these questions plus more.
More Community Shield news
Date, time and venue
The FA Community Shield will take place on Sunday 2 August at 3pm at Wembley Stadium.
Tickets for the clash are, unfortunately for keen fans, sold out.
Mourinho will have Diego Costa and Gary Cahill to call upon against Arsenal after the pair went off with suspected injuries in Chelsea’s pre-season friendly win over Barcelona on Wednesday.
The Blues manager confirmed on Friday1 that Costa will play despite a hamstring scare in Washington while Cahill was confirmed to have not broken his nose while heading in the equaliser against Luis Enrique’s side.
In terms of squad changes, Mourinho has lost Cech to the Gunners but has replaced the goalkeeper with Asmir Begovic while Monaco striker Radamel Falcao has arrived on loan following his disappointing spell at Manchester United last season.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will be missing forward Alexis Sanchez for the game at Wembley, with the Chile star on an extended break following his exploits for his nation at this summer’s Copa America.
Striker Danny Welbeck will also be unavailable on Sunday as he continues to overcome a knee injury, but Wenger’s side looks similar to the one that ended the season winning the FA Cup – apart from the addition of Cech.
Where to watch
The 2015 Community Shield will be shown on BT Sport 2 from 2.30pm.
Chelsea come into the game having endured a mixed pre-season despite beating Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona on penalties in their International Champions Cup friendlies this week.
The Blues started off their tour of the US with a surprise 4-2 defeat at the hands of a second-string New York Red Bulls side last week despite having the likes of captain John Terry on the pitch.
However, Mourinho’s side did secure two victories in their post-season friendlies against Sydney FC and Thailand All-Stars, which followed on from their Premier League and Capital One Cup successes last term.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will come into the clash against Chelsea in a confident mood after winning the Emirates Cup last weekend, in which the Gunners thrashed French giants Lyon 6-0 and also beat Wolfsburg.
Wenger’s side also clinched the Barclays Asia Trophy with a win over Everton in Singapore this summer and, before that, finished off the 2014-15 campaign with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup final.
Betting odds (William Hill)
Arsenal to win: 15/8
Chelsea to win: 6/4