Leicester City and Manchester United will duke it out for the Community Shield this afternoon, though winning it compromises the best interests of both teams.
The Red Devils have understandably assumed short-price favouritism in the betting, available to back at 91/100, pushing the Premier League champions all the way out to 29/10.
For those who think 90 minutes won’t be enough to separate the teams, a price of 12/5 can be had about the draw.
A stalemate is an outcome both teams would settle for were they aware of the trophy-less fates that awaited the previous Community Shield victors.
Arsenal’s 2014/15 FA Cup conquest represents the only pot won by the winner of this barely-competitive clash in the last five years, with each member of the quintet subsequently failing to claim the Premier League crown.
In fact, only one of the teams to partake in this fixture (Manchester City in 2011/12) sat at the top of the pile at the opposite end of the campaign.
Positively, three of the previous five winners (Arsenal 2015/16, Man City 2012/13 & Man Utd 2011/12) recorded second-place finishes in the seasons that followed their shield success. For contrasting reasons, both clubs would surely be pleased with a silver medal in 2016/17.
According to the fortunes of the previous five winners, the worst-case scenario for Leicester and United is a seventh-place finish.
It’s where Jose Mourinho’s side wound up in 2013/14, following an ill-fated fling with David Moyes at the helm when the Sir Alex Ferguson-induced hangover was at its most devastating.
Given the increased degree of competition in the Premier League this season, plenty suspect the Foxes will lower the bar even further, but for those who think they’ll ridicule the beliefs of the general consensus once again, there’s a price of 25/1 up for grabs about them defending their title.
United, meanwhile, can be backed at 18/5 to achieve the same feat.