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Community Shield Tips: Expect a low-scoring affair at Wembley

Community Shield Tips: Leicester's last two visits to Wembley have finished 1-0.
Community Shield Tips: Leicester's last two visits to Wembley have finished 1-0.

As is yearly tradition, the final of the Community Shield takes place this weekend, as last season’s FA Cup winners Leicester take on the 2020/21 Premier League champions Manchester City at Wembley. 

Both teams will view this as a good opportunity to get themselves into perfect shape ahead of the new domestic campaign kicking off next weekend, with both managers expected to experiment with their starting XIs.

City, who will be making their 13th appearance in the final of the competition having won it six times before, head into the tie as bookmaker favourites for the win in normal time at 20/23, while Leicester can be backed at 13/5. 

Pep Guardiola’s side are 1/2 to lift the trophy, while the Foxes are a best-price 13/8 to be crowned the 2021 Community Shield winners - inclusive of penalties - with Paddy Power. 

Team News - Leicester City 

  • Timothy Castagne, James Justin, Jonny Evans & Wesley Fofana are all out injured for Leicester and will not feature; Harvey Barnes remains a doubt but did play a part in the recent friendly win over Villarreal

Team News - Manchester City 

  • Phil Foden is the only injured absentee for City (foot)
  • Kyle Walker, John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Ferran Torres & Oleksandr Zinchenko have not featured at all in pre-season following Euro 2021 and it is unclear whether they will be involved

The game kick’s off at 17:15 and will be shown live on ITV. We’ve picked out three football tips for the clash below.

Community Shield Tips

Today's football tips

Under 2.5 goals
5/4
Odds correct as of 2021-08-06 14:30 Odds subject to change.

Typically the Community Shield final is a low-scoring affair, with both sides quite leggy following the off-season. The tempo is often much slower and the game is treated as a glorified pre-season encounter, therefore chances can often come at a premium.

Indeed, the previous four finals have seen under 2.5 goals scored, with overs landing just twice since 2013. With this in mind, the pattern could be set to continue on Saturday evening. 

Leicester’s previous two trips to Wembley have seen them win 1-0 on both occasions (2020/21 FA Cup semi-final and final), while City were beaten by the same scoreline during their last visit to the national stadium (FA Cup semi-final vs. Chelsea), which adds a little more emphasis on under 2.5 goals here.

Premier League Odds
Correct Score: 1-0 Man City
15/2
Odds correct as of 2021-08-06 14:35 Odds subject to change.

With this game expected to be a really cagey encounter, it’s tough to pick out too many options in the goalscorers department. I was tempted to get behind a draw but I do think City will just about edge proceedings so am going to pluck for the 1-0 correct score, which is priced at 15/2 with 888sport.

Pep is set to rotate his squad heavily, especially with so many of his usual starters absent from pre-season training due to the hangover from this summer’s European Championship. The likes of Nathan Ake, Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho are predicted to start this clash, and although they may be deemed as City’s ‘second string’ under normal circumstances, they are still players of great quality who have the ability to win the Sky Blues their first piece of silverware this term.

Leicester have also struggled during pre-season, winning only one of their four friendlies which were all played against lower league opposition. While pre-season is of course not a true measure of a team’s quality, losing games - even if they don’t particularly mean anything - certainly doesn’t help the confidence levels. 

I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this one go to penalties, but am swaying towards City to narrowly edge the game over the course of the 90 and think the 15/2 on offer is an appealing price with all things considered.

Riyad Mahrez 2+ Shots on Target & Fernandinho to be carded
20/1
Odds correct as of 2021-08-06 14:35 Odds subject to change.

Finally I’ve picked out a bet at bigger odds for any punters looking for a smaller stakes play. Riyad Mahrez is primed to start against his former club and I’m backing the Algerian to find the target two or more times. 

Last season the ex-Foxes man registered 22 Shots on Target in the Premier League, third only to Raheem Sterling (28) Kevin De Bruyne (26) for City. Mahrez is a forward-thinking player who loves to cut in on that deadly left foot whenever he gets a whiff at goal, so I’m confident that he can test Kasper Schmeichel in this one.

The second half of this 20/1 shot is Man City’s midfield general Fernandinho to be carded. The veteran midfielder is predicted to start with Rodri still recovering from the Euros, and is never shy of a tactical foul to break up play and kill the tempo of the game. 

Last term the Brazilian was cautioned 12 times in all competitions, and while he is still a genius with the ball at his feet and his vision remains impeccable, at 36 years of age it is only natural that the legs are starting to feel a little heavier, which in turn leads to some late challenges often resulting in a booking. 

Good luck to anyone following these tips, and please gamble responsibly.

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