The English football season returns on Sunday when Premier League champions Chelsea meet FA Cup winners Arsenal in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.
The Community Shield is a charity match played before the start of the new Premier League season. The two teams facing in the match will be the English champions and their opponent will be the FA Cup winners.
Arsenal are making their fourth trip to Wembley in just over a year after winning both the FA Cup and the Community Shield in 2014, and the FA Cup again in 2015.
Arsene Wenger will be keen to continue his team’s winning momentum into the Premier League season that starts next weekend on 8 August, but still considers this game as part of their pre-season preparations.
The Gunners have a fully fit squad going into the game against Chelsea, barring Danny Welbeck, who is injured and will miss the start of the season, and Alexis Sanchez, who is yet to return from an extended holiday owing to his participation in this summer’s Copa America tournament in Chile.
Meanwhile, Chelsea come into this game following a pre-season tour of the United States, with manager Jose Mourinho confident about his team’s chances ahead of the new season.
The Blues have a fully fit squad after Gary Cahill and Diego Costa were given a clean bill of health by the manager, who is looking to start the season on a winning note, despite the Shield not being a priority for either club.
A win will give both teams confidence going into the opening day of the Premier League campaign. Wenger, on the other hand, will be hoping to register his first win over his Portuguese counterpart.
All eyes ahead of the game will be on Petr Cech, who will be making his first competitive start for Arsenal against his former team, where he spent over a decade between the sticks.
What Managers Say
Arsene Wenger: “It’s a game that is important but it is still preparation. We want to win it and overall it can just give us that little bit more confidence before we go into the season. You know, it will not be a friendly as it is like that and it is good like that.”
Mourinho [on Wenger’s record against him]: “I think I would ask myself why. I would to try to answer but not because of a mental block but because I would want to try to find solutions to help my team to do it. This yes, try to find different way, try to find the reasons why it goes all the time against my team, but just that.”
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