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Kick Off the Premier League Season in Style with the Community Shield This Saturday

It is incredible to think that just six days after the final game of the 2019-20 season in Europe was completed with Bayern Munich lifting the Champions League after beating Paris St Germain, the season will begin in England with the annual curtain-raiser for the new season at Wembley. League Champions Liverpool will take on the FA Cup Holders Arsenal for the fourth time in a Community Shield game in a 4.30 kick off on Saturday afternoon.

Arsenal were one of just three teams to beat Liverpool in the Premier League last season when they took advantage of two uncharacteristic blunders from Alisson and Virgil van Dijk to claim a 2-1 victory over the already confirmed Champions. The Reds had held a good record over Arsenal up until that point and the nature of that result will have stung Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, plus the two expensive players whose errors led to the Gunner’s goals on the night.

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Let’s take a look ahead now to Saturday’s game with a quick preview of past Community Shield finals between the teams.

Community Shield – Liverpool v Arsenal History

Liverpool and Arsenal have met three times in the final of the Community Shield over the years and it is Liverpool that hold the advantage with two wins to the Gunners one.

The teams met in 1979 when a crowd of 92,800 packed Wembley to witness Liverpool stroll to a 3-1 victory over the Gunners. Two goals from Terry McDermott and one from Kenny Dalglish put Liverpool 3-0 up before a late Alan Sunderland consolation for Arsenal made the scoreline more respectable for the FA Cup holders.

Ten years later, Liverpool were the victors once again, this time by a 1-0 scoreline thanks to a goal from Peter Beardsley. However, in 2002, it was a goal by Brazilian midfield Gilberto Silva that was the difference between the two teams as Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Liverpool v Arsenal head to head

The teams have met a total of 229 times in their history with Liverpool amassing 89 wins to Arsenal’s 79 and 61 games have been drawn. Last season’s win by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium ended a run of ten games without a win in the fixture for the Gunners, with Liverpool winning six of those games.

In recent years, fixtures between the two teams have seen plenty of goals with just one fixture out of the last 15 games seeing fewer than three goals scored (a 0-0 draw back in August 2015) Arsenal have managed 27 goals over those games, with Liverpool scoring 40, averaging two and half goals per game.

Arsenal’s last win over Liverpool away from the Emirates Stadium came back in September 2012 when the Gunners were 2-0 winners at Anfield.

Liverpool Team News

Since last season Liverpool have said goodbye to Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana from their title-winning squad, while Kostas Tsimikas has arrived from Olympiakos to back up Andy Robertson at left back. It is very much a case of “if it isn’t broken, do not fix it” from Jurgen Klopp for his team and as such, it should be a familiar looking Reds team that starts this game. While the goalkeeper, back four and front three pick themselves, there is more competition in midfield with a number of players vying for a spot in the team here.

Liverpool Possible XI – (4-3-3) – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, van Dijk, Gomez, Henderson, Fabinho, Keita, Firmino, Mane, Salah

Arsenal Team News

After managing to persuade Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the club and then adding Willian on a free transfer from Chelsea, it has been a positive summer for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal and they will go into this game with a good deal of confidence.

There are still a number of issues for Arteta to sort out with the team and I don’t believe that he has the squad that he wants quite yet, but this Gunners team is good enough to cause Liverpool some major problems, especially on the counter attack.

Arsenal Possible XI – (5-3-2) – Martinez, Bellerin, Tierney, Luiz, Papasthatopoulos, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Willian, Aubameyang, Lacazette

How will the Community Shield go?

While we think Arsenal have made some excellent progress under Arteta, it is hard to see them having bridged the gap to Liverpool in such a short pre-season period and with so few signings made for either team. As such, we expect Liverpool to claim the win here (8/13) and I would put the Reds down to win this game by a 3-1 scoreline (11/1).


Ian John

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