FA Community Shield Betting Guide

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The FA Community Shield is the first trophy awarded in English soccer each season. Unlike most competitions, the Community Shield has just two participants and is decided over a single match in August each year.

The Shield is contested by the winner of the previous season’s English Premier League (formerly known as the First Division) and FA Cup and is usually held the week before the league season begins at Wembley Stadium. Should a team do the double and win the league and the FA Cup, then their opponents in the Community Shield are the second placed team in the league. There have been various alterations to the criteria for being awarded a place in the fixture since its beginning in 1898, but the league vs. FA Cup winner format has been in place since 1961, with a few exceptions where teams declined their invitations to play. The only teams to win the Shield while not having won the First Division/Premier League or the FA Cup are Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion.

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Although a trophy is awarded to the winner, it is not seen as a prestigious one to win, nor is it a high priority for players or managers. Cynics suggest the match is nothing more than a glorified friendly, but it does give the two clubs involved an opportunity to get real match practice before the curtain rises on the Premier League season.

History of the Community Shield

The fixture was formerly known as the Charity Shield, as all gate receipts from the match go to various charities around Britain through the clubs of the FA. This represents a significant sum, as the fixture is held at Wembley Stadium and is usually played in front of a near capacity crowd of over 80,000. The name changed to the Community Shield in 2002.

Since 1993 the fixture is always settled on the day, with the match going to extra-time and penalties if necessary. Before then a draw would result in both teams having the Shield for 6 months each. The match went to penalties three years in a row between 2007 and 2009 with Manchester United defeating Chelsea and Portsmouth in 2007 and 2008 respectively, and Chelsea beating Manchester United in 2009. United are the Shield’s most successful team with 28 appearances and 19 wins over the years. Liverpool are next in line with 15 wins from 21 appearances. Since 1993, United have won 9 titles, Arsenal 4, and Liverpool and Chelsea 2.

The Community Shield is shown live on TV by Sky Sports and Setanta Sports in the UK and on various other networks around the world, such as Fox Soccer TV in the US.

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