The traditional Preseason competition features the previous seasons EPL winner and FA cup winner vying for the community shield at Wembley stadium.
Its classed as a friendly game but is normally highly completive and signals the start of another EPL season is upon us.
For the record arsenal won on penalties after it finished 1-1 in normal time. Arguably meaningless trophy aside what can we learn from today’s game about Chelsea and Arsenals FPL fortunes for the coming season.
We will start with today’s Penalty shootout winners Arsenal.
Kolasinac is an absolute brick shithouse, from the moment he came onto the pitch as a 33rd minute substitute for the injured Per Mertasacker he was causing Chelsea problems. He had numerous marauds up and down the arsenal wing and seems to have endless energy, he capped his performance off with a late headed goal rescuing the game for Chelsea and demonstrated a threat in the box from set pieces, at £6 million he is a cheaper alternative to the likes of Walker, Alonso and Mendy.
Arsenal looked at their dangerous best when counter-attacking they moved slickly and rapidly from the back with the full backs advancing up the pitch and linking well with midfield and the focal attacking point, Lacazette. This will be even more apparent with Özil and possibly Sánchez back in the fold meaning arsenal look good in attack and should do some damage especially to the teams outside the top 6.
On the subject of Laca it may be early days but he looks a good fit for Arsenal he is pacey and physically stronger then he looks and certainly held his own with the Chelsea centre backs today. He was at the forefront of their dangerous move in the first half a sweeping counter attack and was unlucky to hit the post. At £10.5 he has the potential to be really good value and looks fully capable of bagging 15-20 PL goals in his debut season.
Arsenal did show their usual sloppiness at the back this being most apparent with the goal they conceded, but they have shown enough to ignite hopes of good returns from their attacking players, when Giroud was introduced they became a lot more direct hinting that if he stays at Arsenal he will still play a part this season and have some attacking points returns when on the pitch.
Further hope is given by Wenger's pledge to concentrate hard on the league this year and conformation he will rotate and rest players in the Europa league games.
Now over to the losers, Chelsea:
In short they do not look as penetrative in attack without Diego Costa and Eden hazard. Hazard is expected back soon but it could be 6-8 weeks before he regains full fitness and sharpness whilst costa might not wear a blue shirt again. Chelsea lined up with Kante and Fabregas in the middle with Pedro and Willian playing wide off Batshuayi , none of whom particularly impressed and Bat-Man certainly didn’t do a lot to stake his claim as Chelsea’s striking option.
Moses bagged their only goal of the game and probably allayed potential suitors fears of his starting place in jeopardy with his move to defender confirmed he looks great FPL value at £6.0M.
Morata did not look sharp at all introduced as a second half sub - he looked laboured and sluggish, swung wildly at a good chance and missed a penalty horribly in the shootout. Conte looks right about him needing time to physically adapt to the premier league and at £10M he could be an expensive FPL risk, probably better to wait until he is up to speed with premier league life and a regular in Contes team before you consider introducing him.
Without Matic in midfield, Chelsea looked a bit lightweight in midfield and need the introduction of Bakayoko to steady them. They did still look solid at the back despite conceding so expect them to keep a large number of clean sheets again this season.
Chelsea do look an attractive FPL option for the new season but you should approach with an air of caution. Their squad looks a little thin compared to Man city. They went all last season with no European football, this will be a big factor this year and their players might not fare so well in PL games where they have played midweek champions league football.
If they don’t add quality numbers worry how the existing squad will perform in the league after midweek champions league games and with their players at premium prices this rings FPL alarm bells.
Image courtesy of Public Domain