Arsenal can set down an early marker against the Premier League champions
Barnsley fans used to sing ‘it’s just like watching Brazil’ and Chelsea fans will be borrowing the phrase shortly if Jose Mourinho continues to grow his collection of players from the samba nation.
Young starlet Nathan joined at the start of the July boosting the number of Brazilians at Stamford Bridge to seven, though Filipe Luis has since been shipped out. Diego Costa is also, of course, Brazilian by birth even though he plays his international football for Spain. But the striker is a major doubt for this Sunday’s Community Shield match with Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.
England defender Gary Cahill could also be missing for the Premier League champions against the FA Cup holders in the season’s traditional curtain-raiser after picking up a nasty facial injury in his club’s final match of their North American tour against Barcelona. But there could be a start for new loan signing Radamel Falcao, who is determined to prove he can cut it in England after a frustrating 12 months at Old Trafford.
We say it at the same time every season – but could this finally be Arsenal’s year in the Premier League? Everything appears to be in place but Arsene Wenger’s men do need to get past the mental block that they have against the very best. It is, for example, nine matches since they last beat Chelsea. If they can start getting the better of head-to-heads against the likes of the Blues, Manchester City and Manchester United then the sky really is the limit.
Wenger’s only major signing this summer so far has been Petr Cech and the Czech goalkeeper will have an early reunion with his former team-mates at Wembley. He is fancied to end up on the winning side with the Gunners likely to play more of the first-choice XI than Chelsea. Arsenal are 33/20 to win in 90 minutes and we’re offering money back as free bets on selective losing Correct Score, Scorecast and European handicap market singles if the game is goalless in 90 minutes. Under 2.5 total goals is 4/5.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm on Sunday, August 2nd at Wembley Stadium.