This year’s renewal of the Community Shield will be the 97th edition of the final that has grown in popularity in recent times. It pits the Premier League winners with the FA Cup champions but, as Manchester City won both trophies last season, they will line-up against league runners up Liverpool in a game that has fans licking their lips.
This year’s match will be played at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 4 August and will be refereed by the experienced Martin Atkinson. It was once thought of as little more than a pre-season friendly but modern football fans seem to take this tie seriously and will turn out at the national stadium in support. Will they get the kind of exciting match they are hoping for?
Chance to Back an Accumulator
Football fans have spent the summer months waiting on the return of domestic football and finally they have it. This game isn’t just a chance to see the players back in action, it also serves as a warning that British league action is fast-approaching, with the Premier League returning the following weekend. There are fixtures from the Championship and below in England as well as every division north of the border, including the Scottish Premiership.
That will be music to the ears of sports bettors who will welcome the chance to place a football accumulator, one of the most popular bets in the industry. Backers can stick to one league and back the teams that jump off the page at them, or they can mix and match across the board. Adding Championship and League One predictions to the Scottish Premiership and Community Shield is a possibility and will give backers an interest over the course of the weekend.
Each match, including the Community Shield, offers over 100 markets, including match winner, to lift the trophy, first goal scorer, correct score, total goals and even handicap. Many of the best markets remain live even after the game has kicked off thanks to in-play betting. Have your say at any point of the fixture. A bet on the outcome is as interesting in the final few minutes as it was before the start. Prices and handicap lines are updated to match the flow of the game.
Follow the Trends
The Community Shield trends show us Manchester United are the cup’s most successful side, having won the trophy no less than 21 times. They got off the mark with a maiden victory in 1908 and were last seen claiming glory in 2016. They stand ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool who share a score of 15 times. The Gunners have won it outright 14 times and shared it once, The Reds sitting with 10 wins and five shares. We then notice Everton have nine, Tottenham seven, Man City five and Chelsea have won it four times in the past.
Who will come out on top this year? It’s anyone’s guess at this stage but the bookmakers have had their say and offer their views in the form of a ‘to lift the trophy’ betting market. The money men have thrown their weight behind Manchester City and have The Cityzens marked up as odds on favourites. Those getting their cash down on Man City at bet365 will get 8/15, better than the 1/2 you’ll get with most other firms. Liverpool are 6/4 top price at Unibet, ahead of the 11/8 sent out by many of their rivals.
That bet covers extra-time and penalties and offers backers a bit of a safety net. Recent finals tells us that would be a shrewd approach as four of the last dozen finals have finished level. That includes the 2017 final between Arsenal and Chelsea that finished 1-1 at Wembley. Over 80,000 spectators watched on that day as Kolasinac and Moses cancelled each other out. The game went to penalties where Arsenal held their nerve to win the London derby 4-1, achieved thanks to goals from Walcott, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud punishing misses by Courtois and Morata, Cahill netting the spare from the spot.
Reds beaten by Napoli
Liverpool’s pre-season preparations were hampered with a 3-0 beating by Napoli last weekend at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby. Lorenzo Insigne broke the deadlock with a beautiful curling effort before going on to set up Arkadiusz Milik for the second. Napoli completed the rout with a third and final goal from Amin Younes who rounded things off shortly after the second half got underway. It was a friendly match but one that dented the confidence of Liverpool at a crucial stage. They must dust themselves down and bounce back in good time for Sunday.
Local lad Andy Robertson admitted his teammates were miles off the pace and outplayed by a better team on the day. The Reds looked a bit foolish at times, according to the young defender and it was refreshing to see a beaten player take such an honest approach. Jurgen Klopp wasn’t in a mood to make excuses for his players either but did admit there were a few heavy legs in his dressing room and was looking forward to getting his full squad back together for this match.
The match betting offers Liverpool at 11/4 to win inside 90 minutes and that quote is taken from the Unibet website. That’s sure to attract a fair share of attention but backers will want to see a real improvement on the effort put in on Sunday when rolling over against Napoli. Liverpool to win and both teams to score offers punters a shot at a bigger price with Bet365 serving up a cracking 11/2. Worth a play at interest stakes? Many will believe so.
Cityzens Picked by the Bookies
Last season’s double winners Manchester City will emerge from the tunnel as hot favourites and that will come as no surprise to followers of English football. Pep Guardiola’s side claimed both the Premier League and FA Cup title and have strengthened over the course of the summer. They enter the season hunting down three-in-a-row and it would be a brave bettor to oppose them. Bookies have Man City at odds on to retain their title.
While their opponents were suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Napoli, Man City boosted team-morale with a friendly win over Japan’s Yokohama Marinos in the final match of what was a useful Asian tour. Kevin de Bruyne was the star of the show that day, scoring one and assisting another two. The exciting midfielder smashed home a stunning strike before putting it on a plate for Raheem Sterling to score his fourth goal of the tour. Lukas Nmecha added a third for his employers in the dying minutes to see them safely across the line.
Fancy Manchester City to sign-off with a Community Shield win? Traders certainly believe so and are eager to keep the Premier League champions on side. 888Sport offer 11/4 on the Man City win and, for a favourite, that looks a generous price. Can’t split them? The draw is there to appeal at 15/4 and you’ll get market best price with bet365 if sitting on the fence. These sides played out a 0-0 finish in league action back in October at Anfield and there has been one or less goals between the rivals in each of their last three games. That run consists of the goalless draw and one 2-1 win for each team. This is sure to be another hard-fought contest with the scores kept low.