Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Arsenal V Manchester City
Sunday 10th August. BT Sport 1. 3PM
The Football League may be starting this weekend but Premier League fans will have to wait one week longer to see their teams in action. That is unless you support Arsenal or Manchester City, who raise the curtain with this year’s Community Shield at Wembley.
Both teams lifted trophies here last term, whilst City also won the Premier League, and this should be an entertaining prelude to the new season.
Who will win at Wembley?
Can Arsenal Fire Early Warning Shot?
Make no mistake, everybody connected with Arsenal Football Club will be delighted that their nine-year wait for a trophy ended with May’s FA Cup final triumph over Hull City. Nevertheless, the Gunners will be desperate to find a return to league success and will be hoping that 2014/15 will be their year.
Manager Arsene Wenger has already made one huge marquee signing with the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez and the former Barcelona man will add firepower. Meanwhile, the addition of goalkeeper David Ospina could prove to be one of the shrewdest deals of this transfer window.
There is a strong suspicion that Arsenal’s transfer activity is far from over and we could see more additions between now and September 1. The main priority of a top four finish should come with little trouble in 2014/15 but they may still be some way short of challenging for English football’s ultimate prize.
Nevertheless, Sunday’s showdown with Manchester City offers Arsenal a fantastic opportunity to show their credentials and a strong performance will provide a huge lift. Everybody remembers their awful start to 2013/14 and Wenger will demand a better result in their Premier League opener with Crystal Palace.
The performance will be far more important than the outcome and Gunners fans will be desperate to see them match City at Wembley. It should be a cracking atmosphere.
Manchester City To Assert Themselves In London
Many Citizens fans would have been disappointed to have seen former boss Roberto Mancini lose his job, but Manuel Pellegrini’s successful maiden campaign at the Etihad more than vindicated teh club’s decision.
City were dominant last term and claimed a second Premier League title in three years. In addition to that they also lifted the Capital One Cup at Wembley and also reached the Champions League knockouts for the first time. In short, 2013/14 was a fantastic season and the Sky Blues will be expected to kick on another level in the coming campaign.
Pellegrini hasn’t made that many changes over the summer, opting to bring in quality over quantity, and City will be the team to beat again in 2014/15. They boast quality stars all over the pitch and will definitely fancy their chances against Arsenal.
City recorded a memorable 6-3 victory at the Etihad last season and if Arsenal show the same shortcomings at Wembley then there will only be one winner. However, it is worth noting that the Gunners did hold the favourites to a 1-1 draw in March’s reverse fixture.
It is almost expected that City will perform every single time they step onto the pitch. Pellegrini’s men will fancy their chances of lifting the season’s first silverware at Wembley.
Arsenal V Manchester City Betting
The champions enter Sunday’s showdown as the favourites and are priced at 6/5 with Bet365. However, if you fancy Arsenal to cause a shock then the Gunners are available at 11/5. The 90-minute draw is 12/5.
After ending their trophy-drought, Arsenal will be in high spirits heading into the new campaign and the addition of Alexis Sanxhez will undoubtedly help their cause.
However, the central midfield still looks particularly lightweight and this is an area in which the likes of Yaya Toure will thrive. We think the Gunners will still fall short in 2014/15 and a similar theme should develop on Sunday.
Manchester City -1 Asian handicap is 21/10 with Bet365
Over the past few years we have seen a number of stars make the switch from the Emirates to the Etihad and Manchester City are definitely the more powerful force.
Of all those players to make the move it is probably Samir Nasri who Arsenal fans resent the most and the Frenchman could come back to haunt his former club once more. Having missed out on France’s World Cup squad, the midfielder will be fresh and determined to prove himself at Wembley.
With Betfred offering their DD/HH promotion, Nasri is well worth a punt.
Samir Nasri First goalscorer is 9/1 with Betfred