English Premiership

Arsenal out to make statement of intent

2015-07-31 08:36
Arsenal celebrate (AP)

London - Old rivalries will be renewed when Arsenal play Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, with the Gunners hoping to prove they are the real deal and finally a match for the Premier League champions ahead of the new season.

Arsenal won the FA Cup for the second successive year in May but finished third in the Premier League last season, 12 points behind winners Chelsea.

Having signed Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who won four Premier League titles and the Champions League during 11 years at Stamford Bridge, the Gunners should now possess the solidity at the back to complement their free-flowing attack.

While Cech will go from Chelsea friend to foe in the traditional season-opening match between the Premier League champions and FA Cup winners, the loveless relationship between the two managers gives the fixture added spice.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appeared to push Jose Mourinho during a touchline spat last season, while the Chelsea boss described the Frenchman as "a specialist in failure" in 2014.

Mourinho, however, expects the Gunners to challenge for the title this season after assembling a squad that contains the likes of £42 million playmaker Mesut Ozil and £35 million forward Alexis Sanchez.

"If you add up the amounts clubs have spent in the last three or four years, I think maybe you will find a surprise," Mourinho told reporters.

"It's a fantastic squad with good players, fantastic goalkeeper, they are more than ready to be title contenders."

Chelsea, who beat Arsenal 2-1 in the last Community Shield meeting between the two sides in 2005, have injury concerns over striker Diego Costa and defender Gary Cahill.

Arsenal beat Manchester City 3-0 in last year's Community Shield but the north Londoners will be without forwards Sanchez and Danny Welbeck for the trip to Wembley.

Wenger's winless run against Mourinho stands at 13 games but the Gunners have enjoyed a strong pre-season, scoring 14 goals and conceding once as they won the Asia Trophy and Emirates Cup.

"We know we will be better and we work very hard to better," Wenger told reporters.

"Let's not forget that Chelsea won the Premier League with a comfortable distance last year.

"There was still a gap between them and the others but the desire is to improve and to move up there to fight for the championship. Let's start well and try to give our best."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.