Liverpool – Arsenal is set to open England’s domestic campaign with the two sides face off in the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (start time, 11:30am ET), with the Reds acting as defending Premier League champions, and the Gunners the current FA Cup holders.
2020-21 will bee the second straight season in which Liverpool appear in the annual curtain-raising fixture, while Arsenal are making their fourth appearance in seven seasons. Both clubs are 15-time winners of the Community Shield, though they each trail runaway leaders Manchester United (21).
Liverpool have warmed up for Saturday’s showdown with preseason friendlies against Stuttgart (3-0) and RB Salzburg (2-2). Superstar defender Virgil van Dijk suffered an injury from a blow to the face, but is expected to be recovered and available to face Arsenal. Trent Alexander-Arnold is also expected to be available after missing the preseason trip to Austria with a minor injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will, however, not feature after suffering another knee injury.
As for Arsenal, just the one preseason friendly against MK Dons (4-1) will have to suffice, though the Community Shield has often been used a “friendly” tune-up itself ahead of the PL season. William Saliba is expected to make his Arsenal debut after signing for the club last summer and remaining at Saint-Etienne on loan, but Mikel Arteta’s defense still has plenty of injury issues. Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Pablo Mari (ankle) and Calum Chambers (knee) are all expected to be out for Saturday.
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Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Liverpool – Arsenal, including how to watch on TV in the USA and how to follow all of the action live.
How to watch, stream FA Community Shield: Liverpool – Arsenal
Date: Saturday, August 29, 11:30am ET kick off
Location: Wembley Stadium
How to watch: ESPN
📋 Team news bang on time! ⏰
🏆 Here's how we line up for today's game…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 29, 2020
What they’re saying: Liverpool – Arsenal
Jurgen Klopp, on additional signings: “There are a lot of interesting players out there but if someone is interesting for us I can’t say right now. Due to COVID-19 you have to think five times about what you can and what you can’t do. We always have to pay attention to the financial aspect. We don’t know how much money will come in. Nobody knows but it seems like some other teams have a more positive outlook on the future, if you look at Chelsea, for example. But I am very happy with my team right now. If something transfer-related will happen, we have to see.”
Mikel Arteta, on finishing last season strong and Arsenal’s aspirations: “You’re right, I think it gave us a big platform of confidence and belief that we could challenge and play against the top teams at that level as well, and beat them. And you know, always finding a way to win a game, after we did it with Man City and we did it with Chelsea, but I agree that that moment probably was a moment where the team clicked a little bit and went into more of a belief mode.”
Odds and ends – via DraftKings
Liverpool are pretty heavy favorites at -148, which means Arsenal (+375) represent solid value if you believe in your heart of hearts that they can win. A 90-minute draw, followed by penalty shootout, is also a sizable underdog at +310.
While Saturday’s fixture is merely a glorified exhibition with a “trophy” on the line, it’s tough to look past a Liverpool team that proved so much last season and appears to have yet another level to which they can reach. Of course, it’ll ultimately come down to who does and doesn’t play. With that said, Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal.
Liverpool – Arsenal: How to watch Community Shield, start time, odds originally appeared on NBCSports.com