The annual curtain raiser to the new season takes place on Sunday as Chelsea and Manchester City do battle for the Community Shield but the climax to the Olympics means that the FA Cup winners will lock horns with the Premier League champions at Villa Park on this occasion rather than Wembley.
The venue of course, means little in terms of the eventual outcome and bookies appear fairly confident that City will emerge triumphant, BetVictor installing them as 13/10 favourites and Stan James chalking 85/40 against a victory for Roberto Di Matteo’s charges.
However, while the contest will possess a competitive edge, it is still essentially a friendly so it would be no surprise to see the two sides taking it fairly easy so the formbook is less helpful in selecting a winner.
As three of the last five Community Shield matches have finished all square, with the 2011 clash also level after 90 minutes until a Nani winner for Manchester United deep into injury time, bet365’s 9/4 for this one to be level at the final whistle is the stand out wager.
Skybet quote odds of 6/1 for it to end one-apiece is also worth considering and a case can be made for BetVictor’s 19/4 marked against the teams being inseparable as the referee brings each half to a close.
Viewers might have to wait a while for the first goal at Villa Park as the deadlock has only been broken inside the half-hour mark once in the last five renewals. Punters can cash-in by tackling Stan James’ even money for the opener to arrive after at least 27 minutes have elapsed and that first strike is 6/1 (bet365) to be struck by City’s Carlos Tevez, whose team mate and compatriot Sergio Aguero is an 11/2 chance with Skybet in the same market.
At the other end meanwhile, BetVictor rate Fernando Torres at 13/2 to put the Blues 1-0 up but despite the abundance of attacking talent set to be on show, there’s every chance the game will produce fewer than three goals, an outcome Ladbrokes price at even money.
Community Shield to finish 1-1 – 6/1 (Skybet)