Premier League champions Liverpool and FA Cup holders Arsenal will battle later today for this season’s Community Shield which is the first piece of silverware. The two English giants will meet at Wembley just two weeks before the new Premier League season kicks off. Liverpool romped to the title, winning it in grand style and in record time. On the other hand, their opponents showed great mettle to overcome Manchester City and Chelsea in the semifinal and final en route a record 14th FA Cup title.
Between them, they have won a combined 15 titles so the clearly have rich histories in the tournament. Jurgen Klopp will love to go one better this time after losing to Manchester City on penalties last time out while Mikel Arteta seeks to join an exclusive list of players to have won the Community Shield as both a player and a manager after lifting it as Gunners’ skipper in 2014.
The Spaniard believes that his side’s victory over Liverpool towards the tail end of the Premier League season can be used a springboard for this evening’s showdown. “You’re right, I think it gave us a big platform of confidence and belief that we could challenge and play against the top teams at that level as well and beat them. And you know, always finding a way to win a game, after we did it with Man City and we did it with Chelsea but I agree that that moment probably was a moment where the team clicked a little bit and went into more of a belief mode.”
Some others may see the Community Shield as just a friendly but certainly not Jurgen Klopp. “Actually, we don’t have friendlies really. We have ‘test’ games, training games and this kind of stuff. It’s neither, nor. It’s a competition. It’s really rare you have the perfect time to prepare for a specific game. If you would ask me how long I want to have time for a pre-season, I would say give me six weeks with a full squad, that would be great.” he said ahead of the game.
Arsenal team prediction(3-4-3): Leno; Saliba, Luiz, Tierney; Cedric, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Saka; Willian, Nketiah, Aubameyang.
Liverpool team prediction(4-3-3): Alisson; Williams, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane