No sooner than the 2019/20 season came to an end with the Champions League final last weekend than the new campaign begins this weekend with the Community Shield taking place at Wembley Stadium.
Premier League champions Liverpool have got used to winning silverware of late, with the title triumph last season following their Champions League success of 2019, and although the Community Shield ranks far down on their priority list, Jurgen Klopp has made a point of winning every trophy available.
They take on FA Cup winner Arsenal, who will hope for a vastly improved season this time out after finishing down in eighth in 2019/20, an alarming 43 points off the pacesetters. However, they do at least have the benefit of European football this season, with their FA Cup win securing a place in the new Europa League campaign.
The annual curtain-raiser comes a month later than usual this year following the season restructure, but it is still significantly early in each team’s preparations for the Premier League, with the campaign not getting underway for another two weeks.
However, these two sides rarely waste the chance to get one over the other, and it will be the first time they have met in the Community Shield for the first time since 2002, with Liverpool looking for a first victory in 14 years in this match after losing out to Manchester City last year on penalties.
Liverpool team news
Virgil van Dijk should be fit to feature despite suffering a head injury in pre-season during the week, but Jurgen Klopp hinted that Liverpool may be without Trent Alexander-Arnold due to a minor injury.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Klopp said: "Trent (is) very close but we have to make a decision. Virgil is fine."
Liverpool will definitely be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he continues to recover from a knee injury, and the likes of Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip - who missed the end of the previous campaign - are unlikely to feature as Klopp shows caution with his players’ fitness.
“All the boys which were not involved so far or got slight knocks in pre-season will not be available for tomorrow, but (are) getting closer, really closer, closer and closer so hopefully the majority of them can start training completely normal after the Arsenal game, but this game is now a bit too early for them,” Klopp said.
“Maybe one or two (will be) involved in the squad, we have to see.
“That’s it pretty much. Hendo and Joel (Matip) looking really good, in a good way. Ox, early stages but good. Shaq, good. Trent, very close, we have to make a decision about tomorrow. Harry (Wilson) looks good.”
Predicted line-up: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
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