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Liverpool Target First Community Shield Title In 14 Years

Liverpool Target First Community Shield Title In 14 Years

Premier League champions Liverpool will go into Saturday’s clash against Arsenal inside Wembley stadium seeking a first Community Shield title since 2006.

Both Liverpool and Arsenal go into the game with 15 Community Shield titles to their names while Manchester United are the most successful club with 21 titles.

The Reds last tasted victory in England’s traditional curtain-raiser when they won 2-1 over beat Chelsea14 years ago inside the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales. 

Aside attempting to land a first Community Shield title for a long time, Liverpool hope to avenge the defeat they suffered in the hands of Arsenal, when both teams last met in the fixture in 2002.

Arsenal triumphed 1-0 thanks to Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva, who joined the Gunners after helping Brazil win the World Cup in the same year.

Also, Liverpool, in last year’s tie lost 5-4 on penalties to Manchester City after regulation time ended 1-1.

For Arsenal, they’ve had a good run in the Community Shield after winning their last three fixtures in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

In 2014, Arsenal thrashed Manchester City 3-0, and defeated Chelsea in 2015 (1-0) and again in 2017 (4-1 on penalties).

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Speaking ahead of today’s clash, Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson says the game gives them the opportunity to add to their trophy haul.

“You’ve got to look at the players in the squad and the manager as well, it’s always about looking forward and wanting more and improving,” he said.

“Just to keep going and win as many trophies as we can because we’ve proven that over the last few years we’re a top team.

“Pre-season is no different. You’ve got to train so hard to be ready for the first game of the season, which for us comes against Arsenal in the Community Shield.

“We’ve got to be right at it come that first game and we’ve got another chance to win silverware.

“After that, the Premier League starts pretty quick after that as well, so you need to be ready.”

For Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, he stated though his players are not in the best of shapes yet but they are looking forward to it.

“We’ve had two training sessions so you can imagine that this game comes straight in the middle of our mini pre-season, but as well we haven’t had much time to lose a lot of the condition.

“Obviously it’s not an ideal moment to play in this final but the players are motivated. Obviously it’s another opportunity to win a trophy and we will go for it.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool have a few injury doubts ahead of the new season, including Henderson, who is sidelined by a knee problem.
The FWA Footballer of the Year could return for the opening game of the league season, along with Joel Matip, but both are expected to sit out at Wembley.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is more likely to be fit in time for Saturday’s match despite not taking part in the pre-season training camp, although Klopp will not take any unnecessary risks over his fitness and so could hold him back from the start.

Virgil van Dijk is ready to play after being taken off against Salzburg with a cut above his eye, but Harry Wilson and Ki-Jana Hoever are doubts and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a longer-term absentee.

New signing Kostas Tsimikas is available to start, although Andrew Robertson could be given the nod at left-back, while Rhian Brewster will be pushing for a role having scored three times in Liverpool’s two pre-season games.

On their part, Arsenal have a number of notable players sidelined too, including defensive trio Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers – all of whom will miss the start of the new Premier League season.

Mustafi and Mari are expected to return in the opening months of the campaign, but Chambers – along with Gabriel Martinelli – will not return to training until the end of the calendar year.

And FA Cup final hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could start following comments from Arteta which raised hope that a new contract is close to being agreed, while summer signing Willian is also in contention for a debut.

By James Agberebi 

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