The curse of the Community Shield?

Hold off on your bets for the 2011-12 Premier League champion – and back the winner in this weekend’s Community Shield.

The curse of the Community Shield?

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August 5th, 2011

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Sunday’s ever-so-important Community Shield features a Manchester Derby, with City fans making the long journey down the M6 to Wembley whilst the United fans, in keeping with the joke that no Manchester United fan knows where Salford is, will not be travelling as far.

But just how significant is the Charity Shield, now known as the Community Shield for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent or, we presume, interesting?

Well recently, winning the Community Shield has tended to be a sign of good times ahead.

Historically, winning the Charity Shield was never a good omen. If we cast out minds back to the first Charity Shield in 1908 and look at the time between then and 2005 only 14 teams had gone on to win the league after winning the season’s curtain raiser.

More recently, the trend has changed however and since 2005, five of the six Community Shield winners have gone on to win the bigger trophy at the end of the season. OK, so those teams happen to be Chelsea (2005 and 2009) and United (2007, 2008 and 2010) but the point remains – no more is the Community Shield some sort of hex on your season.

Historically, the defending champions tend to go into this match as the favourites and that is the case here again, although you’ll struggle to find any real value in the win-draw-win. United, who will probably give debuts to Ashley Young, David De Gea and Phil Jones, are available at a best price of 7/5 whilst City can be had at 12/5. The draw, if you’re into that kind of thing, is 9/4.

So if there isn’t much to look at in the win-draw-win, what about the first scorer? Well, if you want a trend, the Community Shield has been quite favourable to players who you might class as “wide players” (let’s be honest, the concept of “wingers” doesn’t really apply any more, does it?).

Since the Shield moved back to Wembley from Cardiff, the first scorers have been Ryan Giggs, Nani and Antonio Valencia. If you believe in trends and things like that, then the 11/1 on Nani, the 12/1 available on either Ashley Young David Silva or the 15/1 available on Valencia might be worth a look. If we thought that Adam Johnson might start, we’d be seriously considering the 16/1 available on him.

Oh, and the Football League gets underway tonight with Hull against Blackpool.

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