Cleat Geeks

Community Shield preview: Arsenal v Chelsea

Sunday sees the curtain-raiser to the new Premier League season as London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea go head to head at Wembley for the Community Shield.

The first piece of silverware of the new campaign is up for grabs as last year’s FA Cup winners and league champions will do battle.

Petr Cech is likely to make his Gunners debut against the club he left this summer, while Radamel Falcao could Falcaomake his Chelsea bow on Sunday.

Colombian striker Falcao endured a difficult season at Manchester United last term, but the Blues have taken him on loan from Monaco for this campaign.

Manager Jose Mourinho believes that the 29 year-old will deliver for his side this season and has been impressed by his performances in preseason alongside Loic Remy.

Mourinho told the Daily Mail: ‘In the last 20 minutes against Barcelona (in last week’s friendly) we played with Loic Remy and Falcao.’

‘They did very well not just to bring the team forward but also with one less player in midfield they closed the spaces in front of the midfield line.’

Last season’s top scorer Diego Costa is an injury doubt with a slight hamstring problem, meaning Falcao and Remy are expected to feature on Sunday.

Centre-back Gary Cahill has been passed fit after it was confirmed he did not break his nose when heading a goal against Barca in the friendly. cech

Meanwhile Cech could start in goal against the club he 494 appearances for following his £11 million summer move.

Last season’s Player of the Year nominee Alexis Sanchez will be missing from Arsene Wenger’s squad, however, as the Chile star has been given an extended break after helping his nation win their first ever Copa America title earlier this summer.

England forward Danny Welbeck is another absentee for the Gunners with a knee injury.

The game will see the two managers renew their rivalry on the touchline – although Wenger is yet to taste victory over Mourinho, a fact not lost on the Portuguese boss.

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“I think I would ask myself: Why?” Mourinho said when asked about Wenger’s winless run against him. “I would try to answer, not because of a mental block but because I would want to try to find solutions to help my team to do it – try to find a different way, try to find the reasons why it goes all the time against my team.”

Sunday will be the 15th time the two managers will have faced each other and previously Mourinho had called his counterpart ‘a specialist in failure.’

The Gunners have been in fine form in preseason, though, winning the Emirates Cup and the Barclays Asia Trophy.

It was Arsenal who lifted the trophy last year too, defeating Manchester City 3-0 to clinch their 13th Community Shield.

Chelsea last won the trophy in 2009 and have been beaten four times in this match since 2006.

The pair last faced each other in the Community Shield 10 years ago, with Chelsea coming out on top 2-1.

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