Community Shield Betting
On Sunday afternoon the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, the Community Shield, takes place between Premier League champions Manchester City and FA Cup winners Chelsea.
With the Olympics ongoing in London, the game has been switched to Villa Park and will whet the appetite of fans ahead of the big kick-off in the Barclays Premier League campaign in eight days.
Chelsea fans will not get to see new signing Oscar in action due to Brazil’s presence in the Olympic final, but there may be a place for Belgian star Eden Hazard who joined from Lille this summer.
Surprisingly, Roberto Mancini has yet to make a single addition to the champions’ squad in the close season, and the Italian has expressed concern at City’s lack of recruitment.
With neighbours United apparently set to trump City in the race to snatch Robin van Persie from Arsenal, Mancini will want a positive opening from his star-studded line-up on Sunday.
The champions are 5/4 favourites to win the game, with Chelsea at 11/5 and the 90-minute draw a 9/4 chance.
Roberto Di Matteo takes charge of the Blues for the first time since being appointed full-time boss and the Italian could scarcely have delivered more since replacing Andre Villas-Boas.
As interim coach, Di Matteo restored Chelsea’s fragile confidence and engineered an unlikely FA Cup and Champions League double.
Carlos Tevez appears set to continue his love/hate career in England, and the Argentine is 6/1 to get the first goal of the game. Sergio Aguero (5/1) built a huge reputation in his maiden campaign at City, and with his title-clinching goal still fresh in the memory he will expect to lead the line this term.
Mario Balotelli and Fernando Torres both impressed at Euro 2012, despite not getting as much game time as they might have hoped, and both are priced at 7/1 to score first at Villa Park. Blues new boy Hazard is priced at 10/1 to mark his first game in England with the opener.
In recent times these games have become entertaining affairs, with the last three seasonss producing at least four goals. It is 8/13 that both teams will get on the scoresheet on Sunday, while a repeat of recent results could reward at 2/1 for over 3.5 goals at Villa Park.
A 90-minute draw with both teams to score is available at 3/1, whilst it is 10/3 that both teams score and Manchester City win (9/2 both to score and Chelsea to win).
Of course, fans may be wary of the resolute performances Chelsea turned in at the back end of last season under Di Matteo’s tutelage, and it is 9/2 that either team will win the Community Shield via a penalty shoot-out.
Spaniard David Silva started last term in a rich vein of form and with another stellar performance for his country at Euro 2012, he may be about to flourish once more in the blue of City.
Silva to score in a City win is on offer at odds of 11/2.