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5 players to watch out in Arsenal-Chelsea Community Shield on Sunday

Written by: Tushaar Sachdeva

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The game is set to be played on 6th August, Sunday at 6:30 PM IST and Khel Now brings you the five key men to watch out for in the battle of warriors.

The FA Community shield is played every year between the English Premier League champions and the FA Cup champions. The match, this year, is between Arsenal, the FA Cup champions, and Chelsea, the Premier League holders.

It marks the inception of the domestic season on the English countryside. The match was originally designed to be a replacement for the Professionals XI vs Amateurs XI fixture, that was played as Sheriff of London Charity shield. Anyhow, the match is commonly seen just as an official friendly for many but certainly consists of some significance as a major trophy.

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Played at a neutral venue (Wembley stadium, London or the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff), both clubs are given equal numbers of tickets, and for the last three years, the ticket prices have been kept constant and very competitive.

The rivalry between Arsenal and Chelsea is one of its kind. Hailing from London, these clubs are the epitome of top-tier football anybody could witness in the land of Roses. Chelsea had won the League quite comfortably and were hot favourites to do a double last season but the French philosopher and his Gooners broke the hearts of The Blues. They triumphed and went all the way to an all-time high 13th FA Cup and Wenger's 7th FA Cup. 

The match is set to be played against the arch rivals of London on 6th August. Both the clubs have been pretty busy until now in the transfer window, with Wenger bringing another French striker to the Emirates and Conte getting another Spanish international goalscorer along with a couple of more signings. This event may pose as a crucial episode for some of the players in their careers. Let us take a look at the players who would want to make it a great deal for them and the fans.

Alexandre Lacazette

Obvious, isn't it? Arsenal’s big signing of the summer was French hitman Alexandre Lacazette, signed from Lyon for £46.5m. He was an expensive signing, but Arsene Wenger is hoping he can fire the Gunners back to glory – his record in France was absolutely phenomenal, with the last four seasons seeing the striker clear the 20-goal mark on every occasion; his high point was last season, which saw him hit 37 in all competitions.

Alexandre Lacazette certainly knows the Premier League is different bread-and-butter from the French Ligue 1 and would be looking to start off on the right note

With last season’s top scorer Alexis Sanchez likely unavailable for the Community Shield due to an injury, it looks like the goal scoring burden will fall on the shoulders of Lacazette, and with a goal record like his, it’s hard to bet against him delivering again. He would play as an out and out striker, someone that Arsenal desperately need. His playing style is identical to the legendary Theirry Henry and it would be lovely if he could bring similar memories back to the Gooners' faithful. 

Alvaro Morata

Chelsea’s newest signing, striker Alvaro Morata arrived with much fanfare from Real Madrid for a reported £58m. Not only is the pressure to be worthy of his price tag but to gain the trust of his manager and the Blues' fans. Filling up the boots of Diego Costa is not impossible but is certainly a difficult part. Although he had a considerable amount of opportunities at Real Madrid, he was always considered surplus to requirements and couldn't reach his true potential.

Also Read: The fall of an ERA: Barcelona

Widely known as an impact substitute, Morata is someone who loves to make attacks, which will also help Hazard to score more goals. We have often seen Hazard not making the final runs after playing a killer ball, but with Morata’s one-touch football, he is bound to.

Tiemoue Bakayoko

The 22-year-old has made nearly 100 appearances for Monaco over the past three seasons, scoring five goals, and becomes Chelsea manager Antonio Conte's third senior signing of the close season.  The former Rennes midfielder has maintained an average pass accuracy of 87% and has averaged four key defensive actions per game last term, impressing particularly on the European stage.

Bakayoko is more creative than the already-departed Nemanja Matic, and will add to the creativity in the centre of the pitch

Bakayoko is capable in the air and has the ability to make strong tackles, but his defensive mindset may cause hindrance in the attacking front. The French duo of Bakayoko and N'Golo Kante would pose a great threat for opposition teams but may lack against powerful enemies. Should they fail to deliver, there will always be Cesc Fabregas to come out and save their day.

Mesut Ozil

'Cometh the hour, cometh the man' probably doesn't suit this man too much. The 5-time German player of the year winner needs no introduction but has an uncanny habit of failing at big occasions. He is if not the best, but one of the best playmakers in the football fraternity currently. His assist record tells a lot about his predicament of being the provider of goals rather putting those himself. He currently holds 43 assists while playing for the Gooners, only less than Denis Bergkamp.

Also Read: 200m pound crew: Which Premier League club spends most on its players?

After the arrival of Lacazette, it is highly believed that he finally will have a world class striker to feed. Should he play in the hole, he would form a deadly partnership with the Frenchman and bring back glory days for the London club.

Ozil has not been shy about showing his displeasure with the club and the growing interest of the Catalan giants pose a great threat for Arsenal of losing him. His history with Los Blancos, though, may get in the way of joining Barcelona.

Antonio Rüdiger

The sturdy defender recently played a part in Germany's Confederations Cup victory and will be looking to continue the winners' luck

Antonio Rüdiger’s rise at AS Roma has been quite understated, especially in comparison to the likes of Koulibaly and Leonardo Bonucci. Rüdiger is the perfect fit for Conte’s Chelsea, mainly because he is more mobile and versatile than Cahill despite preferring to play on the right of the defence. At 24, he is of the perfect age to become a leading figure, something that cannot be said for both Luiz and Cahill who are close to their 30s. 

Physical presence, tactical knowledge and mobility is what makes the ideal defender for Conte. Rüdiger is strong and imposing, but he matches that with great pace, making him an upgrade on every other option Conte has. Although Kurt Zouma has similar traits, he doesn’t match the German in terms of experience. It would be interesting to see who Conte is going to replace with Rudiger in his playing XI.

Published: Sat Aug 05, 2017 05:56 PM IST

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