Betting on the Community Shield would usually resemble investing your money in something like a mundane third-place play-off match and it’s hard to comprehend what is and isn’t value in such events. But this encounter between Manchester United and Manchester City has its own edge and neither team will be keen to play a weakened side and give the opposition the upper hand going into the new season, especially considering Roberto Mancini's men have their best chance in years of matching their bitter rivals in the championship race.
Today’s match will be United’s 15th in the competition since the club reclaimed the league title in 1993. The Red Devils have won just three of those matches in normal time, drawing six and losing on five occasions.
Of those 15 matches, only two have seen them come up against weaker opposition, hammering Newcastle 4-0 in 1996, and drawing 0-0 with Portsmouth three years ago. Taking those two matches out of the equation United have won only two out of twelve matches against top quality opposition. United's record in their last seven appearances in the Community Shield reads won one, lost two and drawn four.
City haven’t played in this competition since 1973 which makes it hard to predict how exactly Roberto Mancini will approach this contest. One possible indicator could be how they fared against top class opposition on their travels last season. The Citizens held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw back in January but went down to Manchester United, Chelsea and were thrashed 3-0 by Liverpool towards the back end of the campaign.
One possible temptation in this fixture could be the over 2.5 goals market. Six of the last ten Community Shield matches have produced three or more goals, and half of United’s last fourteen in this competition have seen a return of over 2.5.
So the ‘tissue’ price for this market on Sunday would seemingly be in the region of 2.15. Most bookmakers were offering slightly above this earlier in the week but the unders appear to still be well backed. So Bet365’s 2.15 on over does seem to offer some value.
However waiting until closer to kick-off could see further market movement and somewhere around 2.25 could be on offer on the day and enough to warrant a small bet.
Tip: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.15
Match Odds: Man Utd 2.30, Draw 3.30, Man City 3.20 (bet365)
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