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04 August 2017

Arsenal vs Chelsea Community Shield kick-off time moved to avoid clash with women’s Euro 2017 final

THE Community Shield will kick-off an hour earlier after the FA decided to switch timings to avoid a clash with the Women’s European Championship final.

England play Netherlands in the semi-final on Thursday night looking to book a place in the final in Enschede on Sunday.

England are hoping to be in the European Championship final on Sunday
England are hoping to be in the European Championship final on Sunday
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England captain Steph Houghton jokes around in training ahead of the semi-final against Holland
England captain Steph Houghton jokes around in training ahead of the semi-final against Holland
Rex Features

That match kicks-off in Holland at 4pm, and the FA are eager to avoid any focus being taken off the Lionesses as they look to win their first ever major trophy.

So the Wembley showpiece between Chelsea and Arsenal has now been switched from a 3pm start to 2pm to ensure it doesn’t clash with the big game in the Netherlands.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea were consulted about the change, along with BT Sport who will be screening the Community Shield live.

None had any objections, so the FA have been able to make the adjustment which is aimed at ensuring the England side get maximum exposure.

Mark Sampson’s team are big favourites to see off host nation Holland on Thursday night as they look to secure a place in the final.

The quarter-final victory over France saw them overcome one of the strongest nations in the women’s game.


Prince William scores penalty and goes in goal with England women's football team, the Lionesses

And with Germany also already out of the competition, the tournament has opened up for England to finally get tournament glory.

But the Lionesses have been dealt a major blow ahead of their semi-final after losing goalkeeper Karen Bardsley through injury for the rest of the tournament.

Scans have revealed Manchester City stopper Bardsley suffered a broken leg during the second-half of Sunday’s last eight win over France.

Karen Bardsley suffered a broken leg during the quarter-final win over France
Karen Bardsley suffered a broken leg during the quarter-final win over France
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Siobhan Chamberlain is ready to come in from the start in goal for England on Thursday
Siobhan Chamberlain is ready to come in from the start in goal for England on Thursday
Rex Features

It means Sampson is expected to turn to 33-year-old Siobhan Chamberlain for the Holland match – one of two enforced changes to his team.

The other is to cover the loss of key midfielder Jill Scott, who will have to sit out the last four match through suspension.


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