Arsenal and Liverpool are set to square off in the official curtain-raiser for the 2020/21 season on Saturday afternoon at 4.30pm.
It’s the first chance for either club, who are both determined for more success in this forthcoming season, to claim silverware.
The Reds enter on the back of completing one of the most dominant Premier League seasons to date and must start off as favourites, but given when this game is being played, there’s a possibility manager Jurgen Klopp won’t quite have his squad fine-tuned.
An evenly contested match would obviously play into the Gunners’ hands. They are still growing under Mikel Arteta and harbour strong ambitions of restoring former glories as well as establishing the north Londoners as Champions League mainstays once again.
Another fascinating tidbit is both are level on 15 wins apiece with only Manchester United (21) claiming more FA Community Shield (formerly the Charity Shield) triumphs.
Arsenal & Liverpool’s previous line-ups:
- Arsenal (vs Chelsea): Martínez; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerín*, Xhaka, Ceballos*, Maitland-Niles; Pépé, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
- Liverpool (vs Newcastle United): Alisson; Williams, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Keïta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi, Minamino.
Arteta heads into Saturday’s game at Wembley missing up to six players through injury. Among the absentees are Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Martinelli, with Hector Bellerín a doubt for the FA Cup winners. Dani Ceballos, who started in that final win against Chelsea, is now back at parent club Real Madrid with his future in doubt.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are without skipper Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip.
Players to watch:
- Arsenal: A new season presents fresh opportunities and for the Gunners, under Arteta, it’s a chance to build on their progress following his appointment midway through the last campaign. After starting on the back foot, Arsenal finished 2019/20 strong and nothing illustrated that more than winning the FA Cup, but victories over Manchester City and this weekend’s opponents Liverpool across three days also made folks sit up and take notice. In that 2-1 win over the newly-crowned Premier League champions, Alexandre Lacazette proved his worth, scoring and creating the other goal. He’s been slightly in the shadow of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has become Mr. Wembley for Arsenal, having bagged four goals in his last two appearances at the home of English football. Aubameyang, though, has yet to score past Liverpool — since moving to north London — who are, of course, managed by his former Borussia Dortmund boss.
- Liverpool: For the first time since 1990, we have a Community Shield game with Liverpool being represented as English champions. Back then, Kenny Dalglish’s men shared the prize with eternal foes Manchester United after the game ended in a 1-1 draw, that option no longer exists and Klopp has the chance of winning his fifth piece of silverware as the Reds manager, alongside Champions League, Premier League, Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup titles. Understandably, this game isn’t the highest priority, that would be successfully defending their Premier League crown. So, we could see a starting line-up consisting of a blend of big names and promising talents. Someone determined to feature — given his competitive nature — is Mohamed Salah, who enjoys playing against their London-based rivals. Across his six previous meetings against Arsenal in a Liverpool jersey, he’s managed to score in all but two games, registering five goals and creating a further two, this included a brace last August.