FA Cup winners Arsenal’s thumping 3-0 victory over Manchester City in the World Cup-ravaged Community Shield has had scant effect on the outrights, with the Premier League champions co-favourites to win the title alongside Chelsea at 15/8.
Arsene Wenger will surely be delighted his side go into the season as stealthy 13/2 underdogs after a cracking performance at Wembley. Here are a few things we found out…
Man City can’t sign off on Eliaquim Mangala quickly enough
Dedryck Boyata and Matija Nastasic managed 12 Premier League starts combined last term, due to being out of favour and injured respectively.
The pair never really stood a chance against Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez operating at something like full tilt.
Nastasic may be useful as the season progresses, but neither will be first choice to partner captain Vincent Kompany, and with oft-derided 33-year-old Martin Demichelis currently next in line, wresting ‘The Mangler’ from Porto has taken on greater urgency.
Ramsey’s 9/1 odds to be Arsenal’s top Premier League scorer look massive
The Welsh international notched 14 times in all competitions for Arsenal before December and struck in three of his last four games of an injury-disrupted campaign.
Having got off the mark even quicker than in 2013/14, Ramsey’s 9/1 price in this market seems off, and can only be attributed to his nominal role as a central-midfielder. Has nobody noticed how often the deadly 23-year-old gets forward?
Despite Willy Caballero’s sullied debut, Joe Hart has a problem
Manuel Pellegrini was always likely to go with his old Malaga mate from the off this season – dropping Hart for seven Premier League fixtures in a row in favour of greenhorn goalie Costel Pantilimon last term showed how little he rates the England number one.
Caballero did drift off his line unnecessarily for Olivier Giroud’s fine goal, Arsenal’s third, but the Argentine could do little about the first two and will be favourite to start the champions’ opener away to Newcastle.
Pellegrini needs to settle his midfield
City lined up in a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1, with new Brazilian midfield anchorman Fernando covering Yaya Toure’s frequent surges forward.
It didn’t really work, but Pellegrini has made his bed somewhat with regard to the ex-Porto man, who’ll surely now start next week.
Newcastle are 9/2 to beat the Citizens at St James’ Park, and this might be a good time to catch them.
Arsenal’s defence has improved, but they still need a new holding-mid
It’s no surprise to see Sami Khedira and William Carvalho as the main Arsenal transfer links as we go into the new league season.
The Gunners’ emergency centre-half cover, in Calum Chambers and substitute Nacho Monreal, coped much better than their wretched City equivalents, but with only 30-somethings Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini available for anchorage, Wenger still has an area to work on.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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