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Community Shield: Moses, Iwobi go to war

by Monica Iheakam

Arsenal faces Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley today as the English football juggernaut wakes from its summer slumber with the traditional curtain raiser to the Premier League season, both sides will be looking to win this with Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Chelsea’s Victor Moses set to outwith each other.Chelsea, in particular, will be looking to gain revenge for last season’s defeat to the same opposition in the FA Cup Final. At 23/20, they look a little short but still well-backable.

The last time the two sides met in London, in the FA Cup final in May, it was Arsenal who emerged victorious. But Chelsea have the prize that has eluded the Gunners for 13 years – the Premier League trophy.

“While today’s match may be a charity friendly, [Arsene] Wenger and [Antonio] Conte will expect their teams to give no quarter as they look to begin the new campaign with full bragging rights,” says the London Evening Standard.

Neither coach has had it easy over the summer, but they face very different problems going into the match.

As ever there has been a lot of transfer talk and not a huge amount of action for Arsenal, although the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette and the refusal to sell Alexis Sanchez are positives.

The issue may be Arsenal’s inability to sell, says Charlie Eccleshare of the Daily Telegraph. 

“The sheer volume of players available to manager Arsene Wenger this season is staggering,” he says. “There are 29 established first-team players in the Arsenal squad, 25 of whom are full internationals.

“In theory, this points to a deep squad brimming with quality and competition for places. The reality though is somewhat different, and Arsenal’s squad has become a bloated mess, filled with players who are no longer in Wenger’s plans but who are on lucrative contracts and have no desire to leave.”

It means there’s no room for more signings at the Emirates. That spells trouble for the season ahead, if not the team’s chances on Sunday.

For Chelsea, the situation is rather different. Conte has made some big-money signing this season in Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger, but he has also let many players leave.

According to the Daily Mail, the number of players who have left Stamford Bridge this summer, including those out on loan, is 26.

This means the Blues currently have 17 senior players on their books, claims the paper. One of them is Diego Costa, who will not figure this season, while Eden Hazard and Bakayoko are injured.

“Chelsea have just sold Nemanja Matic to rivals Manchester United, leaving their squad looking painfully thin ahead of a campaign which, unlike their last, victorious one, will feature the added pressure of Champions League football,” the paper warns.

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