The harbinger of the upcoming EPL season, the FA Community Shield, sees traditional heavyweights Arsenal and Liverpool square off at the hallowed Wembley Stadium.
History: Played 229: Liverpool 89 V Arsenal 79 (61 Draws)
Last meeting: July 15, 2020 (EPL): Arsenal 2 d Liverpool 1 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: It’s less than five weeks since the 2019-20 Premier League season belatedly wrapped up. But Community Shield time is already here with the new EPL campaign just a fortnight away. The Community Shield pits the previous season’s EPL champions and FA Cup winners against one another.
Liverpool claimed a long-awaited Premier League title in dominant fashion, winning 32 of their 38 games to finished 18 points clear of the field. Jurgen Klopp’s side was less impressive after the June resumption – losing two and drawing two of their last nine games – but their triumph was never in doubt.
Arsenal endured a poor season, winning just 14 matches to land eighth. They lost four (including to lowly Brighton and Aston Villa) of their 10 games after the restart. But FA Cup success – beating Man City in the semi and Chelsa in the final, both as underdogs – provide some solace for weary Gunners fans.
Arsenal and Liverpool are level for the second-most Community Shield victories with 15. But Liverpool, who lost a penalty shootout to Man City in last year’s clash, last collected the silverware in 2006. Arsenal won the Community Shield in 2014-15 and ’17.
Gunners break long drought
The teams met three times last season. A Mo Salah second-half brace spearheaded a 3-1 Premier League win at Anfield, while the Reds prevailed in an EFL Cup penalty shootout after a remarkable 90 minutes that finished 5-all.
But the Gunners pulled off one of their best wins of a dismal campaign against Liverpool last month, upsetting the runaway champs 2-1 at home. The come-from-behind victory ended Arsenal’s 10-match winless run in the rivalry.
Five of the last seven (including the last three straight) Community Shield matches produced two goals or less.
Neither side is expected to field a full-strength line-up in this truncated pre-season. Arsenal supporters will be eager to see new buys William Saliba and Willian get a run. Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold are expected to line up for Liverpool, while Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t line up.
Liverpool are hot $1.62 favourites, but it what is effectively a glorified exhibition match Arsenal provide plenty of value.