On August 10th, reigning English Champions Manchester City will take on the FA Cup holders Arsenal at Wembley in the Community Shield. This match kicks off the season pitting the English Champions and FA Cup winners against each other. 12 time Community Shield winners Arsenal are in their first Community Shield since 2005 when they lost to Chelsea. Including the upcoming match, Manchester City have been in three of the last four Community Shields winning in 2012 and losing in 2011. With the new Premier League season right around the corner, this will be a good gauge of the teams summer signings, how they are dealing with shortened preseasons, and how fit their World Cup players are.
Neither team is having to deal with too many injuries so far, but both have key players that are not available due to progression in the World Cup. Arsenal will be missing Theo Walcott through his ACL and Thomas Vermaelen is dealing with a hamstring knock (although that could just be code for he’s being sold). City will be without Alvaro Negrado through a broken metatarsal. Both teams have major players who will be missing because their countries did so well in the World Cup. Arsenal will be without their three Germans Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, and Lukas Podolski. Manchester City will be without former Arsenal man Bacary Sagna, Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Frank Lampard, Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho, and Martin Demichelis.
The vanishing foam spray will make it’s debut in English football in this match. None of the last three winners of the Community Shield have gone on to win the league the following year. This will be City’s 10th appearance in a Community Shield and it will be Arsenal’s 20th appearance. The two have only ever faced off once in the competition in 1934. Arsenal ran out 4-0 winners that day.
Arsenal’s key man for this game and the entire season is their wizard Welshman, Aaron Ramsey. The 23 year old had a sensational season last term. He is the entire reason the gunners are in this match as he scored the winning goal in the FA Cup final. Ramsey scored only 11 goals in his first five season at the Emirates, but made a breakthrough in 2013/2014 scoring 16 goals in 35 games. The former Cardiff City man went from being a fringe player to arguably the first name on the team sheet in a season. It is no surprise that Arsenal fell out of the title race when he went down with an injury last season. His steel in the midfield, drive, and goals are all vital to the way Arsenal play.
Even though we’ve gone with Ramsey as the key man Betway Sport have an excellent special on new boy Alexis Sanchez to score and Arsenal to win at 9/1. Certainly worth a shout as the new boy will be looking to make a mark at Wembley Stadium!
The key man for Manchester City is their midfield engine, Yaya Toure. The Ivorian was arguably the best player in the Premier League outside of Luis Suarez last season. The Manchester City midfielder racked up 20 goals and nine assists from midfield. Toure is a physical monster that can dominate any given game. The Ivorian converted 40% of his chances last season. Not only is he a terrifying physical specimen, but he is fantastic technically and has even become one of the best free kick takers in the league. He is a monster in the midfield and his presence strikes fear into any team.
This is a tough game to call, especially with all the players missing for both sides. Players like Vincent Kompany, Mesut Ozil, Sergio Aguero, Per Mertesacker, and Pablo Zabaleta will all be missing. Arsenal are missing fewer players, but are still down two of their top five players in Mertesacker and Ozil. All the missing players makes the game tough to call. I’m going to go with an Arsenal win purely because they are missing fewer players.
Betway Sport have Arsenal at 11/5 whilst they have Manchester City as favourites at 11/10.