English champions Chelsea will take on FA Cup holders Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday. Ahead of the game, Calcio Insider provides an update on the fitness of players from both sides, who will hope to start their season on a high with a Wembley victory. The Shield is not regarded as a form of silverware, but the Blues will still seek to avenge their Cup defeat to the Gunners last term.

Chelsea:

Well, it’s a no brainer. Both Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko have only returned to light training, and they are both expected to miss the opening exchanges of the new league season. For certain, the duo won’t take any part versus their north London rivals, and they could well return after the international break. Conte will have a full squad to choose from apart Diego Costa, who is due to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

Arsenal:

The north London giants looked to have suffered a potential midfield crisis earlier this week with Francos Coquelin being substituted early in a Emirates Cup game while both Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey missed the open training session on Thursday. However, Wenger has clarified that Ozil and Ramsey will have recovered from their minor ankle and muscle problems with Francis Coquelin a short-term absentee.

Despite both teams looking equal on paper at full strength, the Gunners could be hindered by the absence of Alexis Sanchez and Shkodran Mustafi, who have only returned to full training following their Confederations Cup exploits.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal met in a friendly encounter at the Bird’s Nest Stadium earlier last month which the Blues won by a 3-0 scoreline, but the game was not as one-sided as it looked with the Gunners just not clinical with their chances.

The Community Shield often checks out the fitness of the players, and the Gunners could have the edge over the Blues after having featured in six outdoor friendlies in comparison to the Blues’ three last month.

Image – Creative Commons

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