It’s Arsenal against Liverpool in Saturday’s Community Shield showdown. The crowd goes mild.
The circumstances are as such that this Wembley Stadium meeting will be less of an opportunity to lift a trophy – one that is only a trophy if you win it, of course – and instead potentially be approached by Arsenal as another warm up game before the season fully kicks off on September 12th.
Normally, by this point, the winners of the FA Cup (Arsenal) and the winners of the Premier League (Liverpool) will have had plenty of rest and recuperation under their belts in time for the league curtain-raiser, but instead the Gunners head into the clash with half a squad and just one week of preparation behind them.
It is still a big game, though. That much is sure, especially when it’s Jurgen Klopp’s formidable Reds
making up one half of the national stadium.
The annual event is on the horizon, and here is everything you need to know about Saturday’s encounter.
Unlike other finals, there is no extra time in the Community Shield. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, we will head straight into a penalty shootout. This is how last season’s match was decided, with Manchester City running out 5-4 winners on spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw.
In these unprecedented times, no fans will be in attendance at Wembley for the first time in the history of the Community Shield, with seven substitutes available for both sides, with a maximum of six allowed to be made over the course of the game.
Despite London being pretty darn cold right now, two water breaks around the halfway point of both 45-minute halves will be permitted for both teams.
Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette played no part in the recent pre-season victory over MK Dons, with question marks over their potential involvement on Saturday.
David Luiz and Sokratis are both in quarantine, with Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers all out injured, meaning the soon-to-depart Rob Holding will feature.
For Liverpool, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Harry Wilson and Divock Origi are all unavailable, while Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold have both shaken off knocks (yay!) to be in the squad.
Arsenal will be, despite being the ‘home’ team, donning their brand new away strip at Wembley for the first time. The Highbury marble-inspired strip has divided opinion in the fanbase, although maybe some supporters can be swayed by seeing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rocking the attire. Just maybe.
For the Reds, their own new home kit will be used for the match.
Manchester United are well out in front as the most successful team in Community Shield history, lifting the trophy a whopping 17 times, four further times were shared.
Next down the line is Mikel Arteta‘s side with 14 wins, sharing the trophy once on another occasion. After that we have Saturday’s opponents Liverpool, who boast ten wins, with five other shared gongs.
Arsenal last won the Community Shield in 2017 with a 4-1 penalty shootout victory over Chelsea following a 1-1 draw. Meanwhile, the Reds last tasted success in this competition back in 2006, as they too overcame Chelsea, this time 2-1, back when the event was held at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.