At Last! The first truly competitive game of the 2015/16 season.
We’ve all, or at least most of us, enjoyed the pre-season tournaments, the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore saw us win the first bauble, The Emirates Cup provided us with the second. Good football, good performances and a chance to look at some of the stars of the future, all good fun.
Now we come to a match of somewhat more significance, the Community Shield against Premier League Champions Chelsea.
Some of us (37.1%) don’t rate the result very highly, others (62.9%) think it’s an MWG (must win game). Wherever you stand on the matter I’m sure 100% of you want an Arsenal win.
A win against the Champions would be a welcome boost to the morale and confidence of the squad, it might also put a bung in the mouth of the ever charming Senhor Mourinho. It would also put and end to the run of matches in which Arsene Wenger has been unable to claim a victory over the self-styled Special One.
Enough with the personalities, on with the team.
With an almost fully fit squad there can be no reason to suppose that Le Professeur will do anything but pick his strongest available starting eleven, so we should line up something close to this.
Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
Oxlade-Chamberlain Ozil Ramsey
My one caveat with the above line-up is Bellerin, the street-wise Debuchy might be preferred as his greater experience may be required to cope with readiness of Hazard to go to ground a bit too easily.
I’ve really no idea how the opposition will line up, there are reports that Costa and Cahill are carrying injuries and so must be doubtful starters, perhaps Falcao will get the nod, it will be interesting to see if he can shrug off the memory of a less than scintillating season under van Gaal at Man U.
Their manager has made the predictable calls for referees to give greater protection to Hazard, it is to be hoped that they will also take heed of that particular player’s propensity to perform a triple somersault with pike at the least provocation.
The odds are with our opponents at the moment, they are around 6/4 for the win with Arsenal at 15/8.
Is it an MWG? Can Arsenal win? Give us your opinion.
Written by Norfolk Gooner.