On Saturday, Arsenal are back at Wembley to take on Liverpool in the Community Shield final.
Mikel Arteta’s FA Cup winners will take on Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions just six weeks on from their last meeting at the Emirates where Arsenal secured an impressive 2-1 victory.
The big fixture is set to be a huge test for the Gunners who have so far played just one pre-season friendly, a 2-1 win vs MK Dons on Tuesday night. Liverpool meanwhile have been preparing for the new season in Austria where they have played two matches vs Stuttgart, winning 3-0 and RB Salzburg, drawing 2-2.
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Although the Community Shield is not necessarily regarded as one of the major trophies, it does provide participants with an opportunity to kick-start their season with a piece of silverware, therefore there is no doubt that both sides will be keen to secure victory on the day.
From an Arsenal perspective, the key to victory could be in their ability to force Liverpool into defensive mistakes, like they did in the meeting between the two sides in mid-July.
Klopp’s side have been one of the best across Europe for the best part of two years, and as a consequence, many teams adjust their tactical setup to try and nullify the threat the Premier League champions pose. Liverpool’s opponents do this by sitting in low block formations, putting plenty of men between Liverpool players in possession and their own goal.
This means that Liverpool’s deep-lying midfielders and defenders will usually be able to take possession of the ball unopposed, allowing them time to lift up their heads and pick their next passing option.
Against Arsenal back in July, there’s no denying that Liverpool enjoyed territorial dominance and plenty of possession. However, Arteta’s men did do a great job of picking their moments in which to press the visitor’s backline, forcing…