Stars absent for Community Shield showdown but Sanchez can shine
Community Shield foes this year Arsenal and Manchester City have faced each other just once in this competition, way back in 1934. The Gunners were 4-0 victors that day, and Coral offer odds of 100/1 for that feat in their favour once more.
As the recent World Cup in Brazil proved, football is a funny, unpredictable game, where even the favourites can get slaughtered. That is why Arsenal (9/4 to win in 90 minutes) know they can beat City (5/4) at Wembley, especially following a productive transfer window.
The Gunners have certainly added well to their ranks, with Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez joining from Barcelona, while defenders Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers as well as Colombian keeper David Ospina have also been brought to the Emirates.
Manuel Pellegrini has also signed new talent, after snapping up Bacary Sagna on free from their upcoming opponents. He has also brought in stopper Willy Caballero and midfielders Fernando and Frank Lampard.
It is fair to say that FA Cup winners Arsenal have added more players who can make a difference and improve last season’s lineup, while it seems Premier League champions City have gone mainly for squad members.
However, it is the Manchester club who go into this match odds-on at 8/13 to regain the Community Shield, that they last held in 2012. The Gunners are 5/4.
Both clubs go into this battle largely for pride, rather than silverware, but will be without some star names on each side.
For Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, who won his first trophy in nine years last term, will not pick German trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, after their World Cup-winning campaign.
City will be without a longer list of players, meanwhile, with Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Fernandinho and Vincent Kompany all set to be rested. They all took part in the knockout rounds in Brazil. Lampard and Sagna are also unlikely to feature.
It is the Sky Blues, though, who have got the better of the Gunners recently, including the enthralling 6-3 encounter last season, having lost just once in their last eight meetings.
Of the players available, Alvaro Negredo, David Silva and Yaya Toure were all on target that day. Spanish striker Negredo is also out of this match due to injury, but the latter duo are 11/4 and 2/1 respectively in the anytime scorer market.
For Arsenal, if you fancy Sanchez to net on his competitive debut, he is a 7/4 chance. Olivier Giroud, meanwhile, may not be fit to feature, meaning his French compatriot Yaya Sanogo, who fired in four goals in the recent pre-season game against Benfica, could start. He is 11/4 to score anytime.