Friendlies suggest intriguing Chelsea v Man City clash in prospect
Contrasting pre-season campaigns the prelude to Community Shield final
Ready for their second consecutive Community Shield appearance, Manchester City enter this year’s renewal as Premier League champions, and 6/5 favourites to win in 90 minutes.
They meet a Chelsea side who enjoyed a remarkable upturn in fortunes since Roberto Di Matteo’s appointment in March, and one which is 15/8 for victory in normal time after last season’s FA Cup and Champions League double.
It is 9/4 that the match ends in a draw to necessitate penalties, which will tempt some in light of this method being needed to decide three of the last five Community Shield fixtures.
Punters studying pre-season form as an indication for who to back meanwhile, could be forgiven for wholeheartedly siding with City, bearing in mind their vast improvement in recent friendlies.
After suffering defeat to Al-Hilal back in July, Roberto Mancini’s first-choice side has gone six consecutive games without defeat, winning five in the process and racking up 13 goals.
Also somewhat surprisingly, City have failed to make a summer signing as of yet, and so the settled nature of their side appears to be paying dividends currently.
Chelsea, in contrast, have spent over £60m in bringing in the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin this summer, and while they are expected to have a positive impact over the course of the season, it may take a while for such an array of new personnel to gel.
An uncharacteristic defensive fragility has been evident in their pre-season friendlies this term too, where a 4-2 victory over Seattle Sounders in July has been their sole triumph.
The Blues have conceded in each of their preparatory outings, and have been breached a worrying ten times in just five pre-season games in this time.
With Championship outfit Brighton being the latest to overcome Di Matteo’s Chelsea via a 3-1 scoreline, it may take a brave punter to side with the Stamford Bridge side against the Premier League champions this Sunday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.