Arsenal meet Chelsea in the Community Shield On Sunday The annual curtain-raiser for the new season can sometimes be a tepid affair, but this weekend's clash is expected to be a hotly-contested encounter, both on and off the pitch

Arsenal meet Chelsea in the Community Shield On Sunday

The annual curtain-raiser for the new season can sometimes be a tepid affair, but this weekend's clash is expected to be a hotly-contested encounter, both on and off the pitch.

Arsenal

Arsenal head to Wembley Stadium on the back of an impressive pre-season campaign that has seen them win four out of four games.

The Gunners have also been ruthless in front of goal this summer, scoring 14 times against the likes of Everton, Lyon and Villarreal to clinch both the Premier League Asia Trophy and the Emirates Cup.

However, the Arsenal faithful would happily trade in those pieces of silverware to see their side beat Chelsea and win the Community Shield on Sunday.

It has been a quiet summer for the FA Cup winners in the transfer window, with Petr Cech's arrival at the Emirates Stadium the only big-name move so far. There will be plenty of eyes on the goalkeeper as he lines up against his former club, where he won 15 major honours in 11 years.

Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini recently expressed his surprise at Chelsea's decision to let the Czech go, while Arsene Wenger has claimed that the 33-year-old can improve as a player in North London.

Wenger has also made it clear that he expects his players to mount a serious Premier League title challenge this season.

The Gunners finished 12 points behind the champions last term, and they will be seeing this weekend's clash as an opportunity to make a big statement of intent ahead of the new campaign.

Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Chelsea

While their pre-season form has not been as flawless as Arsenal's, Chelsea make the trip to Wembley Stadium having enjoyed a positive summer schedule.

The Blues have won four out of five matches in the Far East, Australia and the USA, with their most recent triumph arriving in the International Champions Cup thanks to apenalty-shootout victory over Barcelona.

Like their opponents, the Premier League champions have been relatively quiet in the transfer window since it opened, adding just four new faces to their squad. However, the arrival of Radamel Falcao on loan has given them a sprinkling of stardust ahead of the new campaign.

Chelsea's pursuit of Everton defender John Stones has also been well publicised. The Toffees have reportedly rejected two bids for the 21-year-old, with the latest being estimated at around £26m

Manager Jose Mourinho recently aimed one of his trademark jabs at Arsenal by suggesting that the Gunners have underachieved with the amount of money that they have spent on players in the past few years. Refusing to be ruffled by the Portuguese's comments, Arsene Wenger claimed that Arsenal's spending was nothing out of the ordinary.

There is no doubting that Mourinho will be desperate to get one over Wenger and extend his unbeaten record when it comes to managing sides against the Frenchman. This is the type of game that the Portuguese will be expecting his players to assert their dominance over Arsenal, letting the Gunners know that they will be in for a tough season.

Recent form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Team News

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez will miss the game as he recovers from helping Chile win the Copa America.

His absence could give Chuba Akpom another chance to impress Wenger following his hat-trick earlier this summer against a Singapore Select XI.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are expected to name a strong starting lineup, with the likes of Per MertesackerAaron RamseyMesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud all likely to feature.

Gary Cahill and Diego Costa are both doubtful for Chelsea after picking up injuries against Barcelona. Cahill is struggling with a facial problem, while Costa is nursing what is thought to be a hamstring strain.

Jose Mourinho is understood to have no further injury concerns heading into the game...

31/7/15

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