Arsenal look overpriced to win Sunday’s curtain-raiser at Wembley, with Alexis Sanchez set to play a major part
The 2014/15 football season has nearly arrived, with Arsenal and Manchester City putting their final preparations together for the new campaign when they arrive at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
While the Community Shield contest is nothing more than a glorified friendly, it is also an opportunity for these teams to lay down a marker ahead of the new season, just as Manchester United did across the Atlantic Ocean in the past few days.
Arsenal are surprisingly big at 12/5 with Paddy Power to win this one-off match, with the Gunners having recruited heavily during the summer and the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez is a particularly eye-catching one.
It is thought that Sanchez shunned Liverpool to head to the north London club and he should slot in well alongside Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey, with Jack Wilshere likely to play more of a holding role for the Gunners.
Mathieu Debuchy arrived from Newcastle to replace Bacary Sagna, while Calum Chambers might not just be one for the future after Arsenal spent more than £10 million to sign the versatile defender.
Wenger will treat this game with importance even if he will be missing his German World Cup winners, with Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker only just starting to shake the sand from their towels before heading back for training.
Manchester City will also be without key personnel, with Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta also having a breather after the World Cup campaign which saw them reach the final, although it will be a typically strong line-up.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team are 5/4 with Coral to claim victory in ninety minutes, with David Silva and Yaya Toure set to line up in midfield, while Stevan Jovetic will look to continue impressing in attack alongside Edin Dzeko.
Ladbrokes offer 3/4 about Over 2.5 Goals at Wembley within the ninety minutes and we might well see a free-scoring encounter considering these teams shared nine goals at the Etihad Stadium last season.
However, odds-against quotes about Arsenal winning the trophy are worth taking from a value perspective, with Paddy Power offering 6/5 about what is essentially a coin toss between the winner of the FA Cup and last season’s Premier League champions.