2017 Community Shield Preview: London rivals aim to kick off the season in style

Chelsea and Arsenal will meet at Wembley to kick start their seasons.

2017 Community Shield Preview: London rivals aim to kick off the season in style
Source: Yifan Ding/Stringer/Getty Images)

Chelsea and Arsenal will square off at Wembley Stadium in the Community Shield on Sunday afternoon. The fierce rivals met in last season's FA Cup Final, with Arsenal running out as 2-1 winners on the day.

The Community Shield will mark the second time these two teams have met in preseason after Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-0 in a friendly in Beijing, China.

Team News

Chelsea: The Blues will have to make do without their superstar Eden Hazard on Sunday as the Belgian winger continues to recover from a fractured ankle. New signing Tiemoue Bakayoko is also unavailable as he nurses a knee injury. Victor Moses, who was sent off in last season's FA Cup Final, will be available for Antonio Conte's selection.

Antonio Conte continues to search for signings in order to strengthen the depth in his squad, which is a worrying sign ahead of the new campaign. With a short preseason under their belt, Chelsea's performance in the Community Shield may speak volumes for what lies ahead.

Projected XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso, Willian; Batshuayi, Morata. 

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger's squad head into Sunday's match with a clean health bill, which is a positive ahead of the season. New signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac are expected to be in action yet again as they prepare for their debut season in England.

Arsenal triumphed over Chelsea at Wembley back in May and will look to make it another Community Shield won in recent years. 

Projected XI: Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Holding; Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Monreal; Sanchez, Özil, Lacazette.

Background

Chelsea were 3-0 winners over Arsenal earlier in the preseason, thanks to two goals for Michy Batshuayi and a third from Willian

Arsenal were 2-1 victors back in May, winning a record 13th FA Cup trophy. Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey both netted that day, with Diego Costa bringing Chelsea back into the game briefly.

Cesc Fabregas in action against his former club, Arsenal, in the 2017 FA Cup Final. (Source: Robbie Jay Barret/AMA/Getty Images).
Cesc Fabregas in action against his former club, Arsenal, in the 2017 FA Cup Final. (Source: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images).

The two sides have met in the Community Shield twice before. Chelsea were triumphant in 2005, winning 2-1, before Arsenal edged a 1-0 win over their rivals in the 2015 Community Shield. 

Despite the recent bumps, Chelsea have lost just three times to Arsenal in their last 14 meetings, stretching back to 2012.

Sunday's game will be a real test for both sides as preparations continue for the upcoming Premier League campaign. Chelsea look to defend their title this season, while Arsenal aim to reach the summit of the Premier League for the first time in over a decade.


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