Arsenal’s officially start their 2020/21 campaign this afternoon at Wembley as they face Premier League champions, Liverpool in the Community Shield.
Following the record-14th FA Cup final victory, the Gunners’ Premier League season starts away at Fulham on September 12, meaning this game comes in the middle of a congested pre-season which will also feature an international break.
Heading into today’s game, Arteta will not have a squad full of first team regulars to choose from but nevertheless, a team must be picked to challenge for another piece of silverware.
In goal, Bernd Leno is most likely to start considering Emi Martinez’s off-season holiday to Portugal. The German was substituted for Matt Macey at MK Dons but that shouldn’t happen at Wembley.
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Keeping with the back three shape on Tuesday, Arteta won’t veer away from it this afternoon. Looking for continuity ahead of the new season, he will keep the defence as it was at Stadium MK with William Saliba, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney shielding Leno.
With the amount of work the wing-backs get through, if available, Hector Bellerin will take Cedric Soares’ place. The Spaniard should be looking to make the right back/wing-back role his own this season.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles will keep his place on the left with Tierney at centre-back. The 23-year-old proved he can be effective both with and without the ball in this role in the FA Cup run last season and although it may not be a long-term solution, playing him there should help Arsenal against Liverpool.
Granit Xhaka will start in midfield who partners him is up for debate. Mohamed Elneny started alongside him at Stadium MK and performed well but should a more attacking approach be taken by Arteta, starting Joe Willock may be the better choice.
This game may come too early for…