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Rupert Wyman 8th Aug 2009 - 15:45

You should be on the spot if you back penalties

The FA Community Shield, the traditional season curtain raiser for the Premier League teams, takes place on Sunday as Premier League champions Manchester United take on FA Cup winners Chelsea at Wembley.

The Community Shield matches are normally tentative affairs as neither side wants to take unnecessary risks a week ahead of their first Premier League matches, despite the stage of Wembley and the winners getting to walk up the famous steps to lift the shield.

There have been changes aplenty for both teams this summer but it is fair to say that Man Utd look to be worse off than their London counterparts after the departures of Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.

The champions drifted in the betting for the Premier League title as a result and Chelsea became the favourites. Likewise the Blues are the favourites at 8/5, albeit narrowly, to win the Community Shield within 90 minutes.

A Man Utd 90 minute win is priced at 19/10 and the draw is at 2/1. For me the draw is the big value here as the last two times the sides have met in cup competitions, 2007 Community Shield and 2008 Champions League final, the matches have gone all the way to penalties.

In addition three of the last four Community Shields that Man Utd have taken part in have gone to penalties and each time Sir Alex Ferguson's side have had the better spot-kick takers so another value bet could be Man Utd to win on penalties at 9/2. Chelsea are also available at the same price.

Man Utd are even money to lift the trophy to improve their record to 14 Community and Charity Shields, while Chelsea are the 8/11 favourites to win their fourth.

The Community Shield is perhaps most important for Chelsea's new boss Carlo Ancelotti as he will hope to show the nation for the first time "his" Chelsea. The Italian is likely to deploy a diamond system and it will be interesting to see if his players can adapt to the new system against such a tough opponent as the league champions.

The former AC Milan coach will probably be without the services of new signing Yuri Zhirkov for the Wembley showpiece. While his opposite number, Fergie, will have Wes Brown, Gary Neville, Nemanja Vidic and Edwin van der Sar all missing.

The Old Trafford chief must decide between his two understudy keepers, Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak, for the job of keeping out both Didier Drogba and last season's golden boot winner Nicolas Anelka.

Drogba has scored four goals in his four appearances at the new Wembley. The Ivorian is 6/1 to open the scoring within 90 minutes and 7/4 to score at anytime within the 90 minutes.

The Red Devils' new striker Michael Owen is at the same prices as Drogba but the value could be Wayne Rooney at 15/8 to score within 90 minutes as with no Ronaldo to accommodate the England man should find himself deployed in his more favoured central role.

Join us here at William Hill for In-Play betting from the first whistle to the last as we offer more betting markets than ever before both prior to kick-off and during the whole match. In addition we have a fantastic bet one, get one free offer on the match. For the full details click here.

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