Chelsea v Arsenal – Wembley at 15:00 live on BT Sport 2
The English Premier League’s annual curtain raiser takes place at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, a mere 70 days after the 2014/15 season concluded. But, for a lot of the South American players who grace our top division, it has only been 29 days since the Copa America finished in Chile.
Both Wenger and Mourinho have been unexpectedly quiet in the transfer market so far this summer but, the one deal which has gone through was Petr Cech’s move from West London to North London. Jose would not have been happy to let a player of Cech’s quality go to a Premier League rival, especially not Arsenal but, after 11 years of outstanding service the big keeper deserved to pick his next club.
In Thibaut Courtois the Blues have perhaps the best young goal keeper in the world, so they really should not worry about Cech now turning out for the Gunners.
Chelsea have not had a great pre-season so far with a defeat against the New York Red Bulls, followed up with two score draws against PSG and Barcelona. Of course there is no shame in drawing with those two sides but Jose will not have been pleased to see his usually water tight defence leaking so many goals.
Naturally, there is no point reading anything into the pre-season results and Chelsea are rightfully clear favourites to win the Premier League again this season. Despite having only picked up a couple of squad players during the transfer window, Jose will be confident of further success this coming season.
The likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar and Nemanja Matic will only improve with more time on the pitch together. Plus, with Jose’s defence first tactics in place they will always be hard to beat for any team in the world.
Arsenal fans are looking forward to the new season with great hope, as usual. However, with Petr Cech in goal their backline could well be galvanised and provide the platform for their first serious title challenge in a long time.
The Gunners will once again be packed full of ball playing, creative/attacking midfielders and although Wenger has money to spend on a world class striker that could be final piece in their title jigsaw, he will only spend it on the players he thinks can improve the team.
In terms of stats, it is always difficult to base betting decisions upon previous friendly match results but with a strong trend for goals in recent Community Shield games, it could pay to get overs on your side this weekend.
Five of the last six curtain raisers have seen over 2.5 goals and four of those actually went over 3.5 goals as well. You might think that Chelsea’s strong defence combined with Arsenal missing Sanchez will impact the goal scoring chances in this match but, Chelsea’s last three Community Shield matches have seen 13 goals in total.
With Arsene’s poor record against Jose, he is sure to take this friendly match a little more seriously than most managers would but it is still likely to take some time for the match to get going, as the players get up to speed at the start of the new season.
Looking at the Asian handicap betting market the line has been set around 0 or 0.25 by most books and I imagine it will be a close contest. However I think there is more value to be found in the Asia handicap goals market.
Once these two fierce rivals have danced around each other in the early exchanges of the match, I am sure the passion and fight will take over. Both teams will want to win once they are involved in the thick of the action, so I can see goals coming in the second half of the match. This is also a solid trend in Community Shield games in recent years with 16 of 23 goals coming after the break.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 1.5 Goals in the 2nd half at 2.20 with Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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