12 weeks. 12 long summer weeks without Premier League football; the wait gets harder every year, the clueless guessing as to how to fill your weekends and betting apps becomes more confusing with every passing weekend.
Void of conversation, other than the tedious financial discussion around how ridiculous football has become. However, it’s nearly all over.
The Community Shield is hardly *that* blockbuster sporting event that gets you through your nine-to-five that week, but what it does do every year is signal that there is just one more week of waiting for the Premier League to return.
With a summer of the usual ins and outs, and a window exceeding every previous one in financial terms, the league will see plenty of new faces for the 2017/18 season.
The usual proceedings of the Community Shield will see a repeat of the FA Cup Final with the league and cup winners going head-to-head a week before the season starts.
How many new faces from either Chelsea or Arsenal make it into our combined starting XI for the blue and red halves of London?
GK) Thibaut Courtois
Replaced Petr Čech at Chelsea, and continues to impress over his former teammate. Image Source: Twitter
RB) Hector Bellerin
Arsenal have done well to keep hold of the young Spaniard. Image Source: Twitter
CB) David Luiz
Proved all his doubters wrong last season, and will surely play a big role again for the Blues this coming season. Image Source: Twitter
CB) Laurent Koscielny
Koscielny's importance and quality as a centre-half could not be more summed up in *those* Bayern Munich defeats last season. Image Source: Twitter
LB) César Azpilicueta
Does 'Dave' ever have a bad game? Image Source: Twitter
DM) N’Golo Kante
Only built on his outstanding title-winning season with Leicester last year, and will be crucial once again in determining Chelsea's success. Image Source: Twitter
DM) Tiémoué Bakayoko
The first new face in the XI from the transfer window. The highly-rated Frenchman had a superb season with Monaco, and Chelsea must back the young lad with the release of Nemanja Matić to Manchester United. Image Source: Twitter
Took his time to get going in England, but became a vital part in Antonio Conte's XI last year. Image Source: Twitter
AM) Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal keeping hold of Alexis is basically the equivalent to three new signings. Image Source: Twitter
LF) Eden Hazard
One of the few genuine world-class players in the league. Image Source: Twitter
CF) Alexandre Lacazette
The Frenchman just squeezes in over Morata with the Chelsea man supposedly struggling for match fitness, and with Lacazette looking very sharp in pre-season for the Gunners. Image Source: Twitter
So it’s business as usual for the up-and-coming season, with debating points of starting XIs already at an endless point of conversation.
How the new faces fare at Wembley will be an early indication as to whether they will be a success in the league or not. But, whatever the outcome of the result, whether you’re a Gunner or a Blue, who cares? The Premier League is back next weekend!