Friday, 4 August 2017
Will Arsenal defeat Chelsea? more news
Arsenal face a familiar opponent in Chelsea on Sunday when the two face off in the traditional Community Shield curtain-raiser at Wembley Stadium.
Chelsea 5/4 to win Community Shield
The Gunners played the
Read moreBlues as recently as two weeks ago in a dismal pre-season showing which saw Arsene Wenger's side lose 3-0 in Beijing.
However, Arsenal will take faith from May's FA Cup final, in which they triumphed over Antonio Conte's men in an impressive performance at Wembley, picking up their third cup in four years.
New signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac are expected to feature, while contract rebels Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez could also be involved.
Aaron Ramsey missed Arsenal's open training session on Thursday with what Wenger described as a "little muscular problem", while Mesut Ozil is also likely to recover from a minor ankle issue.
Francis Coquelin is ruled out for two weeks while long-term absentees Gabriel and Santi Cazorla are still weeks away from returning to first team action.
Wantaway striker Lucas Perez is unlikely to be involved after handing in a formal transfer request as he seeks a departure from north London.
Laurent Koscielny had been expected to miss Community Shield due to his red card towards the end of last season but will feature in the line up after the FA ruled his suspension would carry over instead to the first match of the Premier League season.
POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Following the successful deployment of the 3-4-3 formation, Wenger is expected to continue with his relatively new-look shape on Sunday, with summer signing Sead Kolasinac likely to take his spot at left wing-back.
The central defence should see Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Rob Holding alongside each other as Shkodran Mustafi steps up his return to first team action following an extended holiday after his summer excursions with Germany.
Perhaps the most interesting selection dilemma Wenger has on his hands will be whether to start Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has only taken part in pre-season training for the best part of a week but it's understood that he wants to be involved in the Wembley match this weekend.
Sanchez has been linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer and while Wenger has reiterated that the 28-year-old will be staying at Emirates Stadium, it may be better to build up the talisman's fitness slowly and start either Alex Iwobi or Theo Walcott ahead of him against Chelsea.