Chelsea team news vs Arsenal: Community Shield on the line for new-look Blues

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Everything you need to know ahead of Sunday's Community Shield, as the Premier League holders seek more silverware against the Gunners

Wembley plays host to a repeat of the FA Cup final on Sunday as Chelsea and Arsenal go head-to-head for the Community Shield.

Chelsea 5/4 to win Community Shield

The traditional curtain-raiser has become essentially an exhibition match in recent years, a chance for teams to undergo a final rehearsal ahead of the Premier League campaign. 

Antonio Conte's team, however, will be keen to start their league defence on a high note after a turbulent summer in the transfer market. 


CHELSEA INJURIES


Chelsea have two confirmed absentees for the Wembley showpiece, with both casualties affecting Conte's front-line.

Eden Hazard is still recovering from a broken ankle sustained on international duty for Belgium and will not make the cut, while Pedro suffered multiple facial injuries during July's friendly against Arsenal. 

Tiemoue Bakayoko, meanwhile, joined from Monaco with a pre-existing injury and is unlikely to make the beginning of the season.

Eden Hazard Chelsea


CHELSEA SUSPENSIONS


Victor Moses had been expected to miss Community Shield due to his red card in the FA Cup final, but will ultimately line up after the FA ruled his suspension would carry over instead to the first match of the Premier League season.

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POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Despite several big transfers both in and out of Stamford Bridge over the summer, Conte's first starting XI of the season will be for the most part familiar to the Blues faithful.

Alvaro Morata will be the only new name in the first team to take on Arsenal after completing a move from Real Madrid. The Spanish striker looked rather out of touch in his first run-out for Chelsea, but Conte trusts he will soon get up to speed with the English game. 

Diego Costa to put in transfer request

Conversely, Morata's Spain team-mate Diego Costa makes way. The former Atletico Madrid man is adamant over a return to his old club, and while the Colchoneros' transfer ban makes a move difficult he could yet play the first half of the campaign elsewhere before making his long-awaited return to the Spanish capital.  

With Hazard and Pedro unavailable, meanwhile, Michy Batshuayi gets the chance to shine alongside Morata and Willian. 

Chelsea XI


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • The Blues have lost their last three Community Shield matches, last triumphing on penalties in 2009 against Manchester United.

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  • Chelsea have alternated between victory and defeat in their last six matches at Wembley, losing last time out to Arsenal in the 2016/17 FA Cup final..

  • The last time these two sides were in the Community Shield was in 2015 – Arsenal winning 1-0 thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s strike..


TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


The match is being televised live on BT Sport in the UK. It kicks off at 14:00 BST. 

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