Given that both Arsenal and Chelsea are entering new eras in the coming season, Wednesday’s friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin should at least give an indication of which side is better prepared for when the Premier League starts next weekend.
The two sides each have newly-appointed managers in Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri, the latter of whom has had just over two weeks to shape his team into the high-pressing and attacking force that he demands; this has been made even tougher given that his predecessor and compatriot, Antonio Conte, was the polar opposite in his approach.
The Blues have now also been busy in the transfer market and Jorginho has joined his boss in making the move from Napoli, along with reserve keeper Rob Green; a new No 1 will also have to be recruited in the next week if, as expected, Thibaut Courtois leaves for Real Madrid instead of seeing out the final year of his contract.
Arsenal, in contrast, acted quickly to replace Arsene Wenger, with Emery appointed on 23rd May. The Spaniard has made five additions and has moved to strengthen the spine of his squad as he seeks to sort an issue that reared its head countless times in the past decade. Though pre-season, particularly in a World Cup year, is difficult to draw conclusions from, the Gunners have performed well in the International Champions Cup, drawing with Atletico Madrid and beating Paris Saint-Germain 5-1, so the signs are positive ahead of their penultimate friendly before they face champions Manchester City in their Premier League opener next Sunday.
Given the proximity to competitive fixtures, both London clubs are likely to field as strong a line-up as possible in the Irish capital and the odds offered by Tipbet suggest a close game is likely. The mammoth 118 markets have Arsenal at 2.25 to outright claim the victory, perhaps due to the fact that they are further down the line in their preparations.
A draw (3.55) would mean a penalty shootout, though Chelsea are 2.75 to keep their unbeaten pre-season going by getting a victory in normal time. For all other International Champions Cup odds markets, head to the Tipbet site where there is also a dedicated promotions section for extra account funds.