Top Flight Action Returns in England

The 2017/18 Premier League season does not begin for another week but the first trophy of the English football season will be decided this Sunday.  Arsenal meet Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley.

Arsenal qualified for this match thanks to defeating Chelsea in the FA Cup final last season.  It was a good end to the season for the Gunners, who had struggled since being eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

Chelsea earned the right to contest the Community Shield by winning the Premier League last season.  The Blues will be hoping a win in this game is the start of a successful title defence.

Arsenal Form

Arsenal began their preseason in Australia with a 2-0 win over Sydney and 3-1 win against Western Sydney.  They have also defeated Benfica and picked up a draw with Bayern Munich.

However, there was a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in a friendly match towards the end of July and a 2-1 loss at home to Sevilla in the Emirates Cup last weekend.

Most of the talk in the summer has been around the possible departures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.  Both players have been linked with moves away from the Gunners but they have managed to keep hold of both players, for now.

Arsene Wenger has not been afraid to splash the cash in the transfer market, adding Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon and left-back Sead Kolasinac.

Chelsea Form

Chelsea have had a quiet build up to the new season with their three main matches starting with the 3-0 victory over Arsenal.  Since then they have lost 3-2 to Bayern Munich and 2-1 to Inter Milan.

Most of the action for Chelsea has come off the pitch, with Antonio Conte attempting to bring players in while also sorting out the future of Diego Costa.  The Spanish international seems set to leave Stamford Bridge but has not completed a transfer.

Conte has brought in defender Antonio Rudiger, midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and striker Alvaro Morata.  These three players are set to replace John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa respectively this season.

Team News

Arsenal are set to continue their development of playing three at the back in this match.  However, with Gabriel Paulista injured Shkodran Mustafi a doubt, Laurent Koscielny could be joined by Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal.  Alexis Sanchez is unlikely to start which could mean a place in the team for Danny Welbeck.

Chelsea are without Tiemoue Bakayoko and Eden Hazard who are injured.  Both Alvaro Morata and Pedro are doubtful which should mean a place up-front for Michy Batshuayi.

Top Betting Tips

Arsenal have the superior record in the Community Shield and have the recent memory of defeating Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley.  This makes Arsenal a decent bet at 12/5 with Bet365 to win the match.

Without Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, Chelsea are missing two of their key attacking players from last season.  It will be interesting to see how they cope with their loss in this game and whether they can create the same number of chances in their absence.  Arsenal to win the match to nil is 5/1 at Ladbrokes.

Alexandre Lacazette is the man on the edge of every Arsenal fans lips now.  The Frenchman would love nothing more than to score and introduce himself to Premier League fans.  Lacazette is 11/2 with Ladbrokes to score the first goal.