The football season starts this weekend. Sunday hosts one of the showpiece matches, the Community Shield, which traditionally sees last season’s Premier League Champions face the winners of the FA Cup (4pm; TV: Live on ITV). However, as Manchester City won both of those competitions, they will be facing the EPL runners-up, Arsenal.
This should be a competitive game with silverware on the line, but what do the UK bookies that count make of it? Read on for our big-match Community Shield 2023 preview with betting tips.
Manchester City are the clear favourites ahead of this fixture, with best industry odds of 3/4 available for a MCFC win. The draw in 90 minutes follows at 3/1, while victory for Arsenal completes the match market at a top price of 15/4.
If the game is level at the end of normal time, there is a provision for extra time and penalties, which means we have a separate To Lift the Trophy option. Here, Manchester City are quoted at 2/5 with Arsenal on offer at 2/1.
Arsenal have looked particularly sharp in pre-season, although we shouldn’t read too much into these warm-up games. When the real competition starts, we will get an idea as to who the strongest teams will be across the new season.
The form guide offers little help here, so let’s now take a look at the players who can decide the destiny of this match.
Those who followed the Premier League last season will not be surprised to see Erling Haaland at the top of the first goalscorer betting. The Norwegian international scored 53 goals in 52 matches last term, and he is available at best odds of 11/4 to find the net first on Sunday. Haaland’s strike partner Julian Alvarez is next at a top price of 5/1, while City midfielder Phil Foden follows at 17/2.
Note that while Gabriel Jesus is still listed in many places, the Arsenal striker is ruled out of this game through injury, so he should be avoided. The Gunners’ first representative in this market is Eddie Nketiah at 8/1. In terms of some value from behind the main strikers, City’s Jack Grealish at 9/1 and Martin Odegaard of Arsenal at 14/1 can be considered.
Away from player betting, Both Teams to Score is listed for this game at 4/6. Those who are considering taking the ‘no’ bet on BTTS can currently get a top price of 13/10.
In the Total Goals markets, we’ll start with Over the 2.5 line, which can be backed at a general 4/6. By pushing that up one stage, we can find odds of 7/4 to go Above 3.5 goals. If you’re expecting a quiet 90 minutes on Sunday, there are odds of 6/5 available to go Under 2.5 goals.
This Community Shield preview will round off the side markets with some Correct Score suggestions. The match betting points to a comfortable 90 minutes for Manchester City and, if you agree, a 3-1 win for Pep Guardiola’s men could be the way to go at best odds of 14/1. A final outcome of MCFC 1 AFC 2 can be backed at that same top price of 14/1, while the 1-1 draw is available at a best of 7/1.
Our Community Shield Preview’s Betting Tips Verdict
Both teams have looked to strengthen their squads in the close season, but Arsenal may have done the best business among all Premier League clubs. The arrival of Declan Rice smashed the Gunners’ transfer record, while they have also acquired Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.
Manchester City had been relatively quiet, signing Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea as a replacement for the departed Ilkay Gundogan. They are also on the verge of acquiring defender Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, but he may not be ready in time to start this game.
The Community Shield can often be tough to predict. The teams involved want to win a trophy, but they are also reluctant to risk injuries ahead of a long Premier League season. The games can often be cagey affairs as a result and there have been some low scoring draws, which ultimately lead into penalty shootouts.
Three of the last six Community Shield games have ended in 1-1 draws at normal time. Prior to Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Manchester City last year, none of those previous five matches had produced more than two goals. We suspect there may be a similar outcome on Sunday. The teams appear to be evenly matched overall, even if City will be stronger in the striking department. A quiet 90 minutes is in prospect and this preview settle on the draw as a main tip.
Phil Foden to score in 90 minutes is another strong option. The England international is one of City’s sharpest midfielders, and he enjoyed a healthy return of 15 goals in 48 matches last season. Remember that the betting tips are for the first 90 minutes, and will exclude any extra time. These are the suggestions, at the best odds available: