Reds kick off 2020/21 with Community Shield – Liverpool vs. Arsenal Preview

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Liverpool take on Arsenal in the Community Shield on Saturday, in a competitive friendly that likely comes too soon for either side in their preparations for 2020/21.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Saturday, August 29, 2020 – 4.30pm (BST)
Wembley
Community Shield
Referee: Andre Marriner


It has been a strange summer for football in England, with the previous campaign not ending until the beginning of August and the new season kicking off before the month’s end.

Arsenal are involved in both of those ties, having earned their place in the Community Shield by winning the FA Cup final against Chelsea on August 1, setting up a trip to Wembley four weeks later.

That has deprived the Gunners of any meaningful pre-season so far, while for Liverpool, a 10-day training camp in Austria has provided a relative headstart.

The Reds beat Stuttgart in their opening friendly, before fighting back for a 2-2 draw with Salzburg in their first game in front of fans since March, with these serving as a reminder of the intensity needed to seal another title.

Saturday gives the chance for more silverware, albeit of the less-coveted variety, and supporters can expected a lower tempo and more changes as Liverpool take on Arsenal at Wembley.

 

Team News

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk goes off injured during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool have no fewer than seven injury concerns heading into Saturday’s clash, though there is not due to be any issue for Virgil van Dijk after he sustained a cut to the head in Salzburg.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is certainly ruled out, while Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip are unlikely to feature, though speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp said “one or two” could be involved in the squad.

The most likely candidate for inclusion is Trent Alexander-Arnold, but problems for the likes of Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Harry Wilson are also considered less serious than Oxlade-Chamberlain’s knee injury.

Klopp has confirmed Rhian Brewster will be in his squad, while Neco Williams should start at right-back and Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever and Billy Koumetio could all be in contention.

A strong side can be expected, but the manager has the option to turn to youth if required, with the avoidance of injury a priority.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, July 14, 2020: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta (R) and Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp chat before the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be without Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari, while there are question marks over a host of players due to quarantine issues, including goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Bernd Leno should start, while new arrival William Saliba could make his debut and Mohamed Elneny is due to return after the departure of last season’s loanee Dani Ceballos.

There is the prospect of Willian also making his Arsenal bow, while Eddie Nketiah could lead the line up front.

Possible Arsenal XI: Leno; Saliba, Holding, Tierney; Cedric, Xhaka, Elneny, Saka; Willian, Aubameyang, Nketiah

 

Form

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's Rhian Brewster celebrates scoring the second goal during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 2-2 vs. Salzburg
Won 3-0 vs. Stuttgart
Won 3-1 vs. Newcastle
Won 5-3 vs. Chelsea
Lost 2-1 vs. Arsenal

Arsenal – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 4-1 vs. MK Dons
Won 2-1 vs. Chelsea
Won 3-2 vs. Watford
Lost 1-0 vs. Aston Villa
Won 2-0 vs. Man City

 

Wembley

Wembley will host the men’s and women’s Community Shield games on August 29 (Adam Davy/PA)

Capacity: 90,000


This will be the 40th occasion Wembley has staged this fixture and the 13th in the ‘new’ stadium.

This fixture has been played at the start of a season since 1959.

This will also be Liverpool’s 40th competitive game at Wembley, previously having won 19, drawn six and lost 14.

The Reds have won only one of their last six visits, the 2-1 Premier League win over Tottenham on September 2018.

 

Did You Know?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 6, 2017: Arsenal's Oliver Giroud celebrates with the trophy after beating Chelsea on penalties during the FA Community Shield match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool and Arsenal are tied with 15 Community Shield wins in their history, with only Man United (21) having won it more times.

The Reds, however, have shared it on five occasions, while Arsenal have only done so once.

The two sides have met in the Community Shield three times before, with Liverpool victorious in 1979 and 1989, and the Gunners coming out on top most recently in 2002.

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp insisted his players would “try everything to win the game” despite such a short time to prepare:

“Now we’ve had two weeks’ training, worked really hard, which everybody could see in the Salzburg game because the some of the boys had heavy legs.

“We tried to make sure that they are not that heavy any more, but for us, it’s like it is for Arsenal.

“We prepare for a whole season, one of the most intense we’ve ever experienced in our lives because of the amount of games, the time we have for that and all these kinds of things.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s as perfect as it can be and we will try everything to win the game, that’s how it is. Arsenal will probably do the same!”

 

TV & Liveblog Info

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 4, 2019: Liverpool players take a walk on Olympic Way (formerly Wembley Way) before the FA Community Shield match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

To be played behind closed doors, Liverpool vs. Arsenal will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport 1, with coverage starting at 4pm ahead of a 4.30pm kickoff (BST).

Over on This Is Anfield, Chris Williams will be bringing you live coverage of all the action, starting at 4pm.

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