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Community Shield Mix ‘n’ Match: Both Arsenal keepers miss out

| 08.08.2014

World Cup triumphs and disasters have shorn the Community Shield of some stellar names, but there are still a raft of talented stalwarts/exciting newcomers to mix ‘n’ match from Arsenal and Manchester City’s ranks.

The Premier League champions are 8/13 favourites to land the prize, as they did the last time they appeared in the Community Shield, and 6/5 to triumph in the 90, with Arsenal 9/4 to win the match and 6/5 to lift the trophy.


Joe Hart and Wojciech Szczesny need to watch their backs as both could be supplanted by new keepers who claimed better stats than the Premier League pair in 2013/14.

Manuel Pellegrini favourite Willy Caballero has been brought in from the Chilean’s former employers Malaga and makes our team due to his 100 per cent La Liga claim record last term, allied with three saves per game on average, according to Squawka.com.

That was better than either the aforementioned duo or unavailable Arsenal newboy David Ospina could manage.

Centre-half takes care of itself, with Vincent Kompany and Per Mertesacker – both of whom would have made this side – currently unavailable.

Summer signing from Southampton Calum Chambers has played all his Premier League games at full-back, but gets in alongside new teammate Laurent Koscielny here after taking to the position well in pre-season.

At right-back, it’s between City’s former Gunner Bacary Sagna and his superior in the France national team Mathieu Debuchy, who left Newcastle for Arsenal this summer.

While Debuchy’s defensive stats from last season compare favourably with Sagna’s and Didier Deschamps clearly prefers him, the champions’ Bosman capture has been a top-four stalwart for seven seasons now.

He gets in on the opposite side to new/old teammate Gael Clichy, who made an average of six defensive actions per game last term and no errors, according to Squawka.

Yaya Toure is a shoo-in at number 10 after notching 20 Premier League goals en route to his second top-flight winners’ medal, while Pellegrini’s signing of holding-midfielder Fernando is enough of an indication for us to conclude that he’ll be an improvement on fellow Brazilian Fernandinho.

Aaron Ramsey is impossible to ignore for the other central-midfield role, having directly contributed to 18 top-flight goals in 23 appearances last term.

Alexis Sanchez scored 19 times in La Liga for Barcelona last term from the right-forward spot and walks into this side, with silky Spanish Citizen David Silva on the opposite flank.

Olivier Giroud may feel unlucky to miss out after notching 16 times in the league during 2013/14, but Edin Dzeko matched that in 13 fewer starts, so the ‘Bosnian Diamond’ spearheads our side in Sergio Aguero’s predictable absence.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune