- 60 votes
Community Shield 2014 Betting Preview
The 92nd FA Community Shield will take place on Sunday 10th August, and sees last season’s Premier League Champions Manchester City take on FA Cup holders Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. Manchester City have been put in as the favourites to reclaim the Shield, with bet365 putting Manuel Pellegrini’s side in at odds of 11/10. The Gunners are on offer at 23/10, while the draw can be backed at the 5/2 mark. While this clash arguably has little importance in the grand scheme of things, I can still see it being a particularly competitive affair. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made a number of big signings during the summer transfer window and following his team’s failures when it came to matches against the big sides last season, I feel that it’s key for them not to be rolled over here. Manchester City on the other hand have been fairly quiet on the player acquisition front thus far, but I’ll be surprised if there isn’t a bit more activity from City between now and the closing of the transfer window.
While Manuel Pellegrini’s first season in charge of Manchester City looked set to be rather average, the Chilean managed to turn things around and ultimately captured the Premier League crown in the most dramatic fashion. A defeat at the hands of Liverpool towards the end of the campaign looked to have sealed the title for Brendan Rodger’s side, but Manchester City continued to fight right the way to the end to land their second Premier League title in the last three years. I’d imagine the priority for City in the upcoming season is to be competitive in the Champions League, something which they are yet to achieve since the Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited took control of the club. These targets don’t necessarily mean that the reigning Premier League champions won’t also be bang there on the domestic front, I just think European success will be their focus.
It could be argued that Arsenal’s FA Cup success gave Arsene Wenger another season in charge of his beloved football club. The Gunners’ long-time manager came in for a huge amount of criticism when his side dropped like a stone from the top of the Premier League and completely out of the title race. Arsenal had been atop of the league table for a long period of the campaign but were unable to compete against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, and some of the heavy defeats they suffered were actually quite embarrassing. Having been 2-0 down in the FA Cup final against Hull, the Gunners somehow managed to turn things around and run out 3-2 winners. This was Arsenal’s first piece of silverware for a number of years and although the FA Cup is not as prestigious as it once was, the win still seemed to appease the majority of their disgruntled fans.
An opening day defeat at the hands of Aston Villa aside, Arsenal really hit the ground running last season, and I expect more of the same in 2014/15. While it is open to question as to whether they will be able to sustain a Premier League challenge, some excellent signings such as the world class Alexis Sanchez will give the Gunners every opportunity of doing so. Injuries to key players like Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott did Arsenal no favours last year and if they can have a bit more luck where injuries are concerned, I feel they are going to be a real force to be reckoned with. For me, Arsenal are definitely the value bet here, and I’ll be taking the 23/10 on offer with bet365 for the FA Cup holders to win the Community Shield inside 90 minutes.
Back Arsenal at 23/10 with Bet365