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Darren Lewis: Arsenal to win Sunday’s Community Shield battle, Chelsea to win the Premier League war

30 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Darren Lewis: Arsenal to win Sunday’s Community Shield battle, Chelsea to win the Premier League war

Sunday really doesn’t matter for Chelsea, although Jose Mourinho would to prove his side are still a class above the Gunners

Diego Costa’s hamstrings could not have played up at a worse time.

On the eve of the new season, five days before the Community Shield and with Arsenal the opponents.

Jose Mourinho’s verbal jousting with Mrs Benitez took the focus off the setback at the FedEx field on Tuesday night in Washington to leave everyone either stunned, re-tweeting or taking the moral high ground.

The truth is, however, Sunday really doesn’t matter for Chelsea.

Yes, the morale boost of beating their London rivals would do very nicely going into the new season.

But the reality is that Chelsea are in a win-win situation. They’ve already proven that they know how to last the distance.

Yes, it will be far tougher this time around with all of their rivals strengthening, but it is Arsenal who are the pretenders.

It is Arsenal seeking evidence at Wembley that there is reason, this time around, to be optimistic about a title challenge that will last beyond autumn.

The Gunners were fantastic against Lyon last weekend while Chelsea laboured, hours later against PSG in north Carolina.

The arrival of Petr Cech, to finally displace the hapless Wojciech Sczczesny, has sparked optimism at the Emirates that, with another classy striker and a nasty, tough-tackling midfielder, this could be their year.

On the other hand, Chelsea have looked defensively suspect to say the least in their pre-season games against the New York Red Bulls (who scored four), PSG, and Barcelona.

In the final third, Eden Hazard (who hit a wonder goal against Barcelona on Tuesday night), Cesc Fabregas and Loic Remy all appear in good shape while Falcao, despite only returning from his holidays last week, also seems full of hunger and desire.

But just watch the mood of Arsenal fans on Twitter – and elsewhere if Mourinho manages to puncture that feelgood factor in north London.

He’d love to make the point that even with classy Cech, Chelsea are still just that class above the Gunners.

Arsenal fans will not admit it, but if Chelsea were to win on Sunday with a side nowhere near as far forward in their preparations as Arsene Wenger’s men, it would dampen the mood in north London just a touch.

This columnist actually believes Arsenal will win on Sunday. Their attitude looks good, their movement looks sharp and they quite clearly are hoping to hit the ground running this season.

Last year they managed to win just two of their opening eight League matches of the campaign.

I just cannot see that happening again this time around with the options at Arsene Wenger’s disposal.

But I can see title success in the end once again for Chelsea. They too could yet buy again before the end of this summer transfer window.

The players they already possess have sampled the taste of victory and know what it takes to achieve it.

Once Jose Mourinho restructures at left-back (Baba Rahman from Ausburg or Alex Telles from Galatasaray) and centre-half (presumably John Stones), Chelsea – the team with the best defensive record in the top flight last season – will once again have a sound platform to build on.

If they eventually decide that they are prepared to break the bank for Paul Pogba at Juventus, then the rest of the Premier League really will have something to think about.

As it is, this looks again to be their year. Arsenal, however, will not be allowing them to kick it off in style.