The stage is set for 2020/2021FA Community Shield as Arsenal the FA Cup holders face Liverpool who’re the English League champions this evening.
Both teams had an hectic season but Mikel Arteta’s men had a longer season due to their involvement in the English FA Cup and Liverpool had finished their own season immediately the EPL ended. Majority of the Liverpool players have been back from their short holiday for a while now, but for Arsenal it’s the other way round as they’ve majority of their men returning to training this week.
Despite Klopp having most of his wards around, he still laments on the injury of club captain Jordan Henderson.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harry Wilson’s chances of featuring against Arsenal is slim.
Here’s how Arsenal could lineup to face Liverpool:
First choice Bernd Leno is back from injury and is available for selection, he played his first game since June as he played the first 45 minutes against MK Dons. His deputy Emiliano Martinez is expected to keep his place if he has completed the quarantine rules, but if he doesn’t (low chance) then Leno goes straight back into the team.
Arteta would love to stick with the 3-4-3 formation, though he’d prefer a 4-3-3 set up. The players available would make him stick with the three at the back. In a 3-4-3 set up we should see Rob Holding, William Saliba and David Luiz and then a Sokratis omo the bench. There are no other defenders available due to the injuries of Mustafi, Mari and Calum Chambers.
A midfield trio of Granit Xhaka, Willian and El Neny is expected to happen due to the unavailability of Ceballos, and some other uncertainties about the future of so many midfielders at the club.
A regular front three might be seen again with the trio of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe leading line. On exceptions then Eddie Nketia would come in for Lacazette or a Salad starting ahead of Nicolas Pepe or maybe Willian coming in.
Gabriel Martinelli is still unfit and Reiss Nelson would be on the subs list too.
Jurgen Klopp could have up to seven players miss the clash with Arsenal tonight. It will be the club’s last run out before their Premier League title defence kicks off at Anfield on September 12 at home to Leeds United.
“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. Maybe one or two [will be] involved in the squad, we have to see,” Klopp said when addressing the media on Friday.
“That’s it pretty much. Hendo and Joel [Matip] looking really good, on 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.”
Alisson is set to start between the sticks with a back four of Neco Williams, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson in front of him.
Van Dijk will be fit despite a head injury he sustained in the 2-2 draw with RB Salzburg in Austria earlier this week.
Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum and Naby Keita are expected to start at the middle of the park
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will line up in attack