Mikel Arteta has appeared to switch to a back four for the Community Shield clash against Liverpool with Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney making up the backline.
Despite thoughts that Bernd Leno would start, Emi Martinez starts in goal. Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks to be part of a midfield three with Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka.
Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang make up the front three which is identical to the one which was used at MK Dons.
Emile Smith Rowe is on the bench with Bernd Leno, Cedric Soares, William Saliba, Sead Kolasinac, James Olayinka, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Tyreece John-Jules.
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Today’s game sees Arsenal return to Wembley just 28 days after lifting a record-14th FA Cup, giving Arteta a tough task to get his players back in shape ahead of the upcoming 2020/21 season.
Although some players returned for pre-season training on August 14 [mostly youngsters whose seasons ended early], the bulk of the first team didn’t return until August 22, giving them just a week to prepare for this afternoon’s contest.
The Gunners squeezed in a friendly against MK Dons on Tuesday [August 25], which they won 4-1. Despite such a quick turnaround between season’s Arteta feels Arsenal aren’t in as bad condition as most would think heading into the Community Shield.
“It’s not hard because we really like our job and we have the privilege to work in this industry but we needed time to reflect on what we did,” he said in his pre-match press conference.
“As well to put our minds a little bit away from football. I think we have the chance to do it not as we normally do, but enough, and the players seem in good condition mentally and physically so we are ready to go. We have no choice, we have a cup to play on Saturday.
“We’ve had two…