The curtain-raiser to the new Premier League season takes place at Wembley on Sunday, as Premier League champions Chelsea take on FA Cup winners Arsenal.
The Gunners’ new goalkeeper, Petr Cech, faces his old club in the traditional friendly at the national stadium, as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho looks to add more silverware to the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet.
Arsenal are looking to retain the title they won 12 months previous, defeating then EPL champions Manchester City 3-0.
Here is how you can watch this intriguing encounter, with streaming and TV information, and the latest pre-season form guide for both sides:
Date: Sunday, Aug. 2
Time: 3 p.m. (BST), 10 a.m. (ET)
Live Stream: BT Sport App (UK only); FOX Soccer 2Go (USA Only)
TV Info: BT Sport 2 and HD (UK only); FOX Sports 1 (USA Only)
Pre-Season Form Guide
Chelsea opted for a much reduced pre-season after suffering with exhaustion in the final months of the season. Mourinho kept his squad tight—using minimal variations throughout the year—and it appeared to affect his side at the tail end of the campaign.
The Blues have become the penalty kings on their tour of the USA, defeating both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona on spot kicks after draws in their friendly matches. The 5-2 defeat to New York Red Bulls means the Blues have failed to win any of their tour games in normal time, but they have still produced a good overall performance value.
Eden Hazard has undoubtedly impressed in the past couple of weeks, taking off from where he left at the end of last year, and he will once again be the fulcrum of the Special One’s attack.
Phil Lythell of ESPNFC.co.uk waxed lyrical about the tricky Belgian talent, comparing his skills to that of Lionel Messi:
The locals might have been disappointed that Lionel Messi was rested by the Catalans, but in Eden Hazard they saw a magician playing to a similar level to the Argentinian genius. The Belgian mesmerised both the crowd and the Barcelona defenders, with the crowning moment his spellbinding goal when he beat a host of players before slotting the ball into the bottom corner. It was one of those nights when he was simply unstoppable and he led the opposition on a merry dance for the 68 minutes that he was on the pitch.
Hazard will be Arsenal’s main problem at Wembley, with the attacking midfielder growing in stature with every passing month. Chelsea might wonder how long they can hold on to their little genius—if the Spanish superclubs come calling—but for now, he will be the player to lead the cavalry charge.
The 24-year-old’s record was impeccable in 2014-15, scoring 14 times in 38 EPL games, per WhoScored.com, and also providing his team-mates with nine assists. It could be argued Hazard can further improve these stats, but as long as Chelsea are winning, Mourinho will be more than satisfied.
Arsenal have gone a long way to plugging their defence with the capture of Petr Cech from their London rivals. Cech saw his Chelsea career evaporate last season—after the loan return of Thibaut Courtois—and the Czech Republic goalkeeper needed a fresh challenge.
The Gunners have craved a top goalkeeper for many years and have never really replaced David Seaman, who departed the club 12 years ago.
For Chelsea, the game plan will not deviate too much, with Mourinho looking to play his controlled style of football, filtered through the likes of midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic. Cech will be kept busy by the presence of Hazard and Diego Costa, with new signing Radamel Falcao also likely to get minutes on Sunday.
Arsenal have been in great goalscoring form during their pre-season, hitting the back of the net on no fewer than 14 times in their four matches. The return to full fitness of Theo Walcott will give Arsene Wenger a different dimension in his attack, especially with the niggling injuries sustained by Danny Welbeck in recent times.
Arsenal will be missing Copa America winner Alexis Sanchez, as reported by Nick Wright of Sky Sports, but the pre-season form of Mesut Ozil will enthuse Wenger, who needs the German to perform at his best this year.
However, it is Cech who is the key as to where the Community Shield ends up, and the former Blues player will be desperate to prove to Mourinho he chose the wrong goalkeeper to take the club forward.