Chelsea Tackles Arsenal For Community Shield | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Chelsea Tackles Arsenal For Community Shield

Posted: Aug 2, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Augustine Akhilomen Lagos

The City of London would literary be shutdown as Premier League champions, Chelsea faces FA Cup holders Arsenal in the 93rd edition of the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium today.

It will be Arsenal’s 21st appearance in the Community Shield, of which the team has previously won 13, including one shared in 1991. The Gunners is the current holders of the tournament, having defeated Manchester City 3–0 the previous season. Its last defeat in the tournament was to Chelsea in 2005, losing 2–1.

On the other hand, Chelsea has previously played in ten Community Shields, winning four, most recently against Manchester United in 2009. On its last appearance, in 2012, the team lost 3–2 to Manchester City.

Going by the two teams pre-season form, Arsenal remains unbeaten and buoyed with the fact that the team just won the Emirates Cup, the team could be on the ascendency while Chelsea, which lost 4-2 to New York Red Bulls in its opening match, bounced back to winning ways by beating PSG 6-5 on penalties before overcoming Barcelona 4-2 on Penalties.

The encounter once again sees old foe’s Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger battle it out for the bragging rights, with the added bonus of some early silverware. Statistically, the Portuguese’s record against his old adversary, who he infamously labelled ‘a specialist in failure’ reads 13 matches, eight wins, five draws and no defeats.

However, Wenger will be aiming to put that record to the trash bin by beating Mourinho for the first time in what could be the needed tonic that would propel his team to title winning season.

On paper these teams cannot be separated at the moment, with top talents Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez looking to dazzle in front of their fans once more, whilst Diego Costa and Olivier Giroud are bound to be in amongst the goals.

Petr Cech will face his old teammates for the first time since his move from Chelsea to London rivals, Arsenal.

He’ll surely be looking to prove Mourinho wrong and show that he still has the talent to stand between the sticks of a top Premier League team, and there’s no better way to do it than to take the Community Shield from his former club’s grasp.

Thibaut Courtois on the other hand will want to show that the Special One has placed his trust in the right hands as he looks to put in another dominant display.

Last season, Chelsea dominated the Premier League from start to finish, whilst Arsenal steamrolled over opposition on their way to claiming its second successive FA Cup in as many seasons.

Mourinho revealed that Gary Cahill may have suffered a broken nose in Chelsea’s friendly against Barcelona and is optimistic that Diego Costa will not face another spell on the sidelines as the team confronts Arsenal today.

“Cahill has a chance of a broken nose, maybe yes, maybe no. If no, perfect. If yes, he will get a mask tomorrow to be ready for today’s Community Shield match against Arsenal,” he said.

“Diego felt a little thing in his hamstring. We believe it is just a feeling, no more than that, but we have to wait.”

Wenger said Arsenal’s winning habits in pre-season can translate to Premier League success starting with the Community Shield.

“We had a good preparation and a good preparation brings confidence. Of course confidence is important but competition demands performance. It’s a good basis to have a good confidence level in the preparation. If you have the choice, when you prepare a team you want a good pre-season.

“It doesn’t give you a guarantee that you start strong in the competition but it’s still better for the confidence and the belief of the group. Then, when it comes down to points, you add that little bit of extra commitment that is demanded in games.”