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This season sees Premier League Champions Liverpool take on FA Cup winners Arsenal.
When is the match and where can I watch it?
The match will Kick off at 16:30 Saturday 29th August behind closed doors at Wembley Stadium. The match will be shown live across BT Sport 1, BT Sport Extra 1 & BT Sport Ultimate. BT Sport 1 will offer fake crowd noise, whereas BT Sport Extra 1 will be all-natural.
Community Shield Preview & Predictions
Both teams have had little time to prepare. Liverpool has managed to squeeze in two pre-season friendlies since the end of last season and Arsenal has managed one. Both teams played a friendly on the 25th, giving them just a 4-day turnaround each.
There hasn’t been the normal break between seasons for players to refresh and this could well play a factor in the performances of some individuals, if not the whole teams.
This match could go two ways. It could explode into a goal frenzy or it could be a boring-to-watch stalemate. I’m predicting the former. For that to happen I feel an early goal is required to open the game up.
Liverpool seemed to lose some of that sharpness once it became clear they were going to win the League and not much of it seems to have re-emerged through their two pre-season friendlies.
Arsenal looked efficient in their pre-season game, but it has to be taken into consideration that Arsenal was playing MK Dons & Liverpool faced a much tougher Stuttgart & Salzburg. It is also worth noting that first-team players only saw half of each respective match.
Liverpool looked sloppy at the beginning of each half against Salzburg and this may be something Arsenal will look to capitalise on. If they succeed, I can see one heck of a match ensuing.
Worryingly, the end product of Liverpool has also been lacking through the pre-season. Plenty of changes have been created in their 2 games and although 5 goals were scored, plenty of opportunities were squandered by the main men such as Mane, Salah & Firmino.
The highlight of the brief pre-season campaign was Rhian Brewster, in terms of finishing. He looked to carry on where he left off at Swansea by scoring three fine goals in the 2 pre-season games, with limited time on the pitch.
If it wasn’t for his two superb goals against Salzburg, Liverpool would have walked away from the match losers. As it was they drew the game 2-2. Despite this great run of form, I see it unlikely that he has done enough to push in front of Mane, Salah, or Firmino in the pecking order. I see it more likely that he makes a second-half appearance.
The likeliness is that the main three will be the front three in this match at the start of the game. If that is the case I feel it may take some time in the match for them to get a feel for it. Therefore, my gut feeling is telling me that Arsenal is the more likely of the two to open up the scoring in the first half. Arsenal will be pumped up after recently beating Liverpool and also lifting the FA Cup in surprise fashion at the beginning of the month.
Aubameyang Loves A Final
Aubameyang poses a big threat to Liverpool’s style of play with their high pressing. He is a consistent goal scorer and with breakaways and counter-attacks likely, combined with Liverpool’s recent frailties at the back, he’s my favourite to bag the first goal. Scoring two goals in the FA Cup final will have his morale sky high and he will be looking to latch on to anything within his grasp.
With all that said, I still struggle to see Liverpool losing the match. Although Liverpool has shown small amounts of complacency and being slightly off the boil, they never suffer a bad 90 minutes. They always create chances and have that bounce-back-ability factor that they seemed to have lost over the 29 years prior to last season. Going behind seems to give them a kick up the backside and they push on with greater intent than before. Examples last season would be games against the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa, West Ham & Bournemouth.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Liverpool take a much more aggressive approach to Arsenal if they were to go one down (maybe with the help of a Klopp half-time grilling) and come back to ultimately lift the Community shield.
I’m wrapping up my Community Shield preview with a prediction of Liverpool to win the match 3-1. A late goal by Liverpool has been common and if Arsenal are forcefully pushing with a nothing-to-lose attitude in the dying minutes, they may very well secure there own downward fate by leaving large holes at the back.
Liverpool will be without Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Matip for this match. Arsenal have Mustafi, Martinelli, Chambers and Mari unavailable with injuries. No major concerns for either manager as others have suitable replacements in reserve. Curtis Jones, Fabinho, and Wijnaldum are the likely starters, with Keita on the bench.
Gunners Debutant Willian is expected to slide straight into the action to supply Nketiah and Aubameyang with opportunities upfront.
I’m using the bet365 bet builder to incorporate some of my predictions with cards and corners. As it is a final format I’m predicting a fair few yellows to be dished out by Andre Mariner. With Liverpool liking to get their wing-backs involved to whip balls in mixed with the likeliness they will see a lot more possession, I’m also seeing over ten corners in the match being very plausible.
*All odds shown were correct at time of writing (14:00, 28th Aug, 2020) and are subject to change at any time.
However the match goes, I hope it’s a good one to watch and anticipate it will be. It will certainly be a good indicator on how each team will approach the new season ahead and whether or not either team have kicked on from the previous. For Liverpool more so maybe whether they have the same fluency, passion, hunger, and desire now that they have finally achieved what they have been longing for. I hope you have enjoyed our Community Shield preview for 2020 and thank you for reading.