Arsenal will make the short trip to Wembley today to take on Liverpool in the Community Shield, but today’s encounter has a different outlook to previous years.
This season’s edition would usually be on the opening weekend of the kick-off of the lower divisions, as well as posing as the opener for the Premier League, with the top tier of English football ready to take place the following weekend, none of which is true this time around.
While club’s have had little-to-no pre-season this summer, I fear this year’s Community Shield could be used more as preparation for the upcomg campaign than an actual trophy to aim at, but that doesn’t change the fact that we will hope to win the encounter.
We go into the match knowing that our side has won 13 of our last 14 matches at Wembley, as well as knowing that our team finished the end of the previous campaign better than our rivals, including putting the sword to their hopes of finishing with 100 Premier League points, beating them 2-1 late on.
Today’s game will come with somewhat of a clean slate however, but gauging just how ready either team will be for the encounter is extremely tough, although they have played more warm-up games during the break.
I believe that this match could go either way, despite our side appearing less ready on paper, and I think both sides will eventually cancel each other out.
I imagine this will finish 1-1 and go onto penalties, with Bernd Leno becoming our hero on his return to action as we lift another trophy under the guise of Mikel Arteta.
Will Arsenal’s lack of pre-season action hamper our bid for the Shield or will Arteta have done more work at home to counteract this?