The FA Community Shield is the curtain raiser for the English Premier League soccer season. The match my have a preseason feel, but the teams take it very seriously with silverware at stake. This year’s edition of the Community Shield will pit rivals Arsenal versus Chelsea on Sunday August 6th.
Arsenal won last season’s FA Cup while Chelsea stormed to the Premier League title. Their triumphs at the end of last term have set up this match to kickoff the 2017-18 season. Arsenal has lifted the Community Shield 14 times to Chelsea’s four, but the Blues have been collecting trophies more regularly since the turn of the millennium. The two sides have met just twice previously in the Community Shield with each winning one match a piece.
Headed into the weekend’s fixture, Chelsea clock in at eighth in the ZCode System team power rankings. The strength that the squad has shown in head-to-head matches has been tremendous, and ZCode System has the team ranked very high.
Arsenal are well down the power rankings list and come in at 154. The Gunners are also coming off of a preseason exhibition loss to Sevilla last weekend, and the club haven’t hit full stride yet.
Both teams go into the match with new strikers in tow after the clubs spent heavily to buy a top goal scorer this summer. Arsenal landed Alexandre Lacazette after he tallied 100 goals in 203 matches for former team Lyon. Not to be outdone, Chelsea signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. The Spaniard hasn’t hit the same heights as Lacazette, but much of that is down to a lack of playing time. Morata has still scored 45 top-flight goals in 126 games. Both strikers correctly have great futures odds to be this season’s top scorer.
Defense is key
Last season, Chelsea’s defense was key to the club winning the Premier League title. The team gave up just 33 goals, which was good for third best in the league. This offseason has seen the Blues keep all of their top defenders and add German Antonio Rudiger from Roma. He makes Chelsea even better in defense as he is a big, athletic center-back who can play the ball with his feet.
The attack is sexy
The Blues’ attack was also up to par last term as the team finished second in goals with 85. Leading scorer Diego Costa finished with 20 strikes, but he has been told he isn’t wanted by manager Antonio Conte. Hence the reason Morata was brought in to the team.
On the other hand, Arsenal are reeling from its top star, Alexis Sanchez, wanting to leave the club. Sanchez was unplayable last season with 24 goals and 10 assists. The Gunners are desperately trying to keep a hold of him, but he won’t appear for the Community Shield match. The Chilean hasn’t even participated in any preseason training sessions with his teammates.
Chelsea are in better shape coming into the match, and the Blues have already beaten Arsenal in a preseason match this summer, 3-0. The Community Shield will mean more than that other exhibition game, but the Blues should still prove too much for the Gunners. Chelsea are not a work in progress, while Arsenal look like it is still being pieced together for this year.
P.S. Upgrade to Zcode VIP Club and Unlock All Winning Picks. Instant Access.