Just four weeks after bringing the curtain down on a rather peculiar 2019/20 English football season, we raise it back up again to kick off the 2020/21 campaign with Arsenal facing Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.
Good day one and all.
It’s a quick turnaround but with both sides still on such a high from winning the FA Cup and Premier League respectively, they will be filled with optimism and renewed energy.
The Gunners can take confidence from their victory over The Reds at the back-end of last season, which they followed up with wins against Man City and Chelsea on route to lifting the FA Cup. However, Mikel Arteta will be well aware that there’s still a lot of work to be done if we are to bridge the massive 43-point gap which separated these two sides in last term’s final league standings.
With the signing of Willian, who had an impressive spell for Chelsea in Eden Hazard’s absence with 11 goals and 9 assists, and appearing as if we have managed to keep hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it should be a good first few steps if Arsenal are to improve their record against the “top-six” sides.
What is there to say about this Liverpool side that hasn’t already been said. Having finished the last two league campaigns with 97 and 99 points respectively, they will no doubt go down as one of the best in their rich history. If they want to be amongst the very best in English football history though, Jurgen Klopp will know all about the difference between achieving success and maintaining success. Be that as it may, the Merseysiders are still the team to beat.
Both sides come into this encounter having played two and one friendly games respectively. The Reds recorded a 3-0 win over Stuttgart before coming back from two goals down to draw with Red Bull Salzburg. Whilst the Gunners have beaten MK Dons 4-1. Today’s match will be the last chance for both coaches to have a look at their squads, as numerous players will leave for international duty shortly after.
Arsenal have quite a few players carrying injury issues over from last season, but we have new boys Willian and William Saliba whom many fans are excited about.
With uncertainty over the futures of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Dani Ceballos and even Matteo Guendouzi, although Arteta seem to have offered him a chance to redeem himself, we welcome back forgotten man Mohamed Elneny, who scored from 35-yards on Tuesday night.
Bernd Leno has recovered from his injury and is likely to start despite Emi Martinez’s solid claim for the number one jersey at the end of last season.
It’s only the first competitive match, but it is an early chance at silverware. Going on squad depth The Reds should be favourites, but the Gunners won’t be short of belief and this could actually be a cracking start to the new domestic season. COYG!