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Arsenal v Chelsea – Community Shield 2 August 2015

This is not the first interaction of the season for these two sides. After relatively quick negotiations following the end of last season, Arsenal were at last able to obtain a world-class goalkeeper when they completed the transfer of Petr Čech for approximately £10.5 million from Chelsea, where he had been viewed as a legend by the Blues.

Chelsea felt confident enough to sell the 33-year-old Čech because they had already with a world-class replacement in 23-year-old Thibaut Courtois for much of the previous season. Nevertheless, it will be fascinating to see these two London rivals meeting in the 2015 Community Shield ahead of the new Premier League season.

Neither side has strengthened as heavily as they did last summer, but that is more of a reflection on how strong both squads already were. Chelsea were able to win the league last season, while Arsenal finished third.

Expectations

One-nil victories against the Thailand All-Stars and Sydney FC have been anything but convincing outcomes in Chelsea’s preseason friendlies. However, friendlies are seldom indicators of how a team will ultimately finish the season. Come the end of this new season, Chelsea are likely to have another Community Shield added to their past list of trophies.

Outside of Čech, José Mourinho’s housekeeping has largely amounted to maintaining his squad from last year. Radamel Falcao is a high-profile addition on loan, but the 29-year-old was way below his scintillating potential last year.

Like Chelsea, Arsenal are also mostly unchanged. Čech is an immense addition in goal, but Arsène Wenger has so far refrained from adding depth in midfield and up front, showing faith in Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud. But for all of the talent at their disposal, it is still tough to see a clear first XI for Arsenal, whereas Chelsea’s is obvious.

Match Tips

Tip one: Draw @ 3.30 with Betfair
Tip two: Chelsea to lift the trophy @ 1.72 with Betfair

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Chelsea have not been great in their preseason friendlies, which would indicate that Mourinho’s team will approach this encounter with the same caution exhibited during the second half of last season. Therefore, it could be likely that we see a draw in 90 minutes, but with Chelsea then lifting the trophy.

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