Cech and Fabregas switch since last Arsenal-Chelsea Community Shield clash
Although the traditional English football curtain raiser the Community Shield is technically a friendly, both Chelsea (5/4 with Coral to win in 90 minutes) and Arsenal (15/8) will be desperate for victory to take bragging rights ahead of the new season.
Amazingly, given that these two teams are giants in the English game and have appeared in this event a total of 30 times (Arsenal 20, Chelsea 10), this will only be their second meeting, the first of which was exactly a decade ago.
One intriguing subplot of this upcoming encounter is that two former club heroes will be lining up for the opposite side that they played for in 2005, as Cesc Fabregas and Petr Cech now turn out for the Blues and Gunners respectively.
Back then, these two teams qualified for the Community Shield via the same circumstances, with Chelsea being the Premier League title holders, and Arsenal the FA Cup winners.
Incidentally, Jose Mourinho was also Blues boss back then, after guiding them to the top flight trophy the season before in his first year, as he did last term too after rejoining the club from Real Madrid.
If it were to be another coincidence, then take tempting odds of 9/1 for the same 90 minute 2-1 scoreline in favour of Chelsea, who also went on to claim the Premier League that year. They are favourites at 13/8 to lift the 2015/16 title as well.
One noticeable difference between now and then, though, is the venue, with Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium being the ground of choice in 2005, whereas this year will be Wembley again.
Fabregas, then playing for Arsenal, managed to net for the North Londoners, which in the end was a mere consolation, and the Spaniard is an enticing 10/3 shout to score against them anytime this time.
For Chelsea 10 years ago, meanwhile, Didier Drogba was the double goal hero to help his side to the shield. However, with the Ivorian having recently made a move to MLS outfit Montreal Impact, Diego Costa is their main man up front, and he is 7/1 to bag a brace.
But he will have to get past former teammate Cech, who made the controversial switch across the city to rivals Arsenal to gain more first team football. The Czech star stopper will be keen to make an impact, so take odds of 29/10 if you fancy him to shut out his former side.
Other stars Mathieu Flamini and John Terry were also in respective starting XIs in that Community Shield clash in 2005, and will be lining up for their same side, although are less likely to score at 12/1 and 7/1 respectively.