Sunday, 6 August 2017

FA Community Shield: Arsenal vs Chelsea Match Preview, Team News And Possible Lineups

English Premier League winners Chelsea and FA Cup winners Arsenal are set to battle today at Wembley as both sides kick off the 2017/18 English season.
Arsenal vs Chelsea
2017 FA Community Shield
Date: Sunday, 6th August 2017
Kick off at 14:00 Nigerian Time
Venue: Wembley Stadium.

 Arsenal meet Chelsea for the third time in as many months on Sunday as the two contest for the first silverware of the new season. Arsenal came out victors the last time these sides met at Wembley, beating them 2-1 in the FA Cup Final to stop Antonio Conte claiming the double in his first season in charge. The two have since played a friendly, which Chelsea comfortably won 3-0.

A lot has changed since that day at Wembley in May though. Arsene Wenger is set to remain at the helm of the club and so far the Gunners have managed to keep hold of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Wenger has finally opened the cheque book, signing ex-Lyon ace Alexandre Lacazette to bolster his attacking options and bringing in left back Sead Kolasinac as well. Whether this will be enough for them to mount a title challenge remains to be seen, but they are undoubtedly a stronger team with Lacazette leading the line.

Chelsea haven’t been shy of doing business either. The entire spine of Conte’s team has been reinforced, with Antonio Rudiger coming in at the back and highly rated Tiemoue Bakayoko replacing Nemanja Matic in the middle of the park. Alvaro Morata steps into the soon to be departed Diego Costa’s shoes as well, in a Chelsea team that looks like it will line up in a similar fashion to last season.

TEAM NEWS:

Arsenal - The Gunners boss Arsene Wenger already has a number of injuries to deal with. Center midfielder Santi Cazorla remains out, while Gabriel, Jack Wilshere, and Joel Campbell are also out.  However, there are good news as well since the French manager kept hold of his main stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil for the new season and espite having a ban, Laurent Koscielny is allowed to play here.

Chelsea - Antonio Conte, who took the English Premier League crown in his first season at Stamford Bridge, has recently seen midfielder Nemanja Matic move on, but he did bring in Tiemoue Bakayoko to replace him. Unfortunately, he's still recovering from a surgery- along with Eden Hazard- and will not be available here. Don't expect to see Diego Costa here as he's fallen out with the team, but new signing Alvaro Morata should fill in admirably.  As is the case with Koscielny, Victor Moses will be available for selection for this match. Nemanja Matic and John Terry have also left the team this summer.


TEAM FORM:

Arsenal They have two losses, two wins, and a draw in their last five matches. They won 1-3 in a friendly against Western Sydney before winning on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in the ICC.  Next came a 0-3 loss in a friendly to Chelsea.  They then returned to play in the Emirates Cup. They won the competition largely because of their 5-2 win over Benfica, despite losing 1-2 to Sevilla last Sunday.

Chelsea The English champs have three losses and two wins in their last five matches. They closed out the league season with a 5-1 home win over relegated Sunderland before losing to Arsenal at Wembley in the FA Cup Final 2-1.  They then got a small bit of revenge with a 0-3 friendly win over them before losing in the ICC against both Bayern Munich (2-3) and Inter Milan (1-2).

POSSIBLE LINEUPS:

Arsenal (3-4-3) Cech; Holding, Koscielny, Mustafi; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette
Arsenal 3-4-3 football formation

Chelsea (3-4-3) Courtois; Luiz, Azpilicueta, Cahill; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Pedro, Morata
Chelsea 3-4-3 football formation

KEY STATS: 
  • Today's match will mark the 170th time these bitter rivals have met.
  • Over the course of 169 matches, the Gunners have a 64 to 57 edge in wins. 
  • There have also been 48 draws played out. 
  • Chelsea have won four and lost three of their last seven meetings with Arsenal.
  • Arsenal have won 67% of their Community Shield appearances, whilst Chelsea have been runners up in 64% of their Community Shield matches.
PREDICTION:

Arsenal 2 – 1 Chelsea - Arsenal and Chelsea once again will play out a dramatic match in the Community Shield, and once again it will be Wenger and his men coming out trumps.

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