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Less than a month after the 2019/20 domestic season drew to a close, the curtain raises on a new campaign today as Arsenal and Liverpool collide in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool are appearing in this annual fixture for the second successive year following a 2019 penalty shootout defeat by Manchester City, but this time as Premier League champions having finally ended their 30-year wait for the title.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have warmed up for the contest with a pre-season training camp in Austria that included friendlies against Stuttgart and RB Salzburg.

Like Liverpool, Arsenal are 15-time winners of the Community Shield set to appear in the Wembley showcase for the 24th time.

Mikel Arteta’s side finished an eventful campaign on a high note by coming from behind to defeat Chelsea 2-1 and secure a 14th FA Cup triumph thanks to a brace from captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal put League One opponents MK Dons to the sword in anticipation for this match in midweek.

Date, time and venue

Arsenal vs Liverpool is scheduled for a 4:30pm BST kick-off this afternoon.

The match will be played behind closed doors at Wembley with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.

Team news

Arsenal have had just a handful of training sessions to prepare. As a result, it is difficult to know what side Arteta will pick – particularly when some players have had to quarantine after returning from holiday.

That was the case with Emiliano Martinez and, despite the Argentina international being back in training, Bernd Leno should start ahead of him in goal. In defence, William Saliba is set to make his debut as part of a back-three that should contain Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney.

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At right wing-back, Hector Bellerin’s absence from Tuesday’s friendly at MK Dons suggest Cedric Soares may start and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could operate on the other flank.

With Dani Ceballos no longer at the club, Mohamed Elneny is primed to start in central midfield alongside Granit Xhaka.

Up front, Eddie Nketiah looks set to start as Alexandre Lacazette was not in the squad that played at MK Dons. On the wings, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will captain the side from the left and Bukayo Saka should play on the right.

As for Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to win his fitness race to return to the squad. He will be joined by Virgil van Dijk, who sustained a deep cut above his eye during Liverpool’s final friendly, a 2-2 draw with RB Salzburg, but is in line to start.

Jurgen Klopp will, however, be denied the services of a number of players who missed out on pre-season due to fitness concerns.

Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Harry Wilson and Divock Origi won’t make the trip to the capital this weekend.

But Klopp remained optimistic on their progress, revealing that a number could be back in time for the start of the Premier League season.

Predicted lineups

Arsenal (3-4-3): Leno; Saliba, Holding, Tierney; Cedric, Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Saka, Nketiah, Aubameyang

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool

Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph at the beginning of August further cemented their status as Wembley specialists. The Gunners also beat Liverpool in the last meeting between the two sides, with blunders from Van Dijk and Alisson Becker ending Liverpool’s hopes of equalling or surpassing Manchester City’s record Premier League points haul in July.

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The Community Shield’s reputation as a glorified friendly rather than an ultra-competitive final has only increased over recent years, and that is likely to be the case more than ever here with both managers eager not to overburden their key stars with a busy campaign following hot on the heels of the last.

Still, it should be an enjoyable occasion nevertheless, with Liverpool just shading it to claim their first success in this fixture since 2006, when Peter Crouch and John Arne Riise both netted in a 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Head to head (h2h) history and results

These two giants of English football have met 229 times across all competitions over the years, with Liverpool boasting 10 more wins, 89 to 79.

There have been 61 draws.

Although they lost at the Emirates in July, Klopp’s men did brush aside Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield last August before also triumphing on penalties two months later following a 10-goal Carabao Cup fourth-round thriller on Merseyside.

Betting odds and tips

  • Arsenal to win: 4/1
  • Draw after 90 mins: 7/2
  • Liverpool to win: 5/7
  • Over 2.5 goals: 4/6
  • Liverpool to win 2-1: 17/2
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