Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson will be the only regulars missing when Liverpool vie with Arsenal for the FA Community Shield.
Premier League Liverpool will be aiming to lift the FA Community Shield for the 16th time when they face FA Cup holders Arsenal in the traditional English season curtain-raiser at Wembley on Saturday evening. And, Jurgen Klopp has a few key players missing ahead of his side’s first competitive game of the 2020/21 season.
Captain Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Harry Wilson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Divock Origi have not participated in either of the two friendlies that Liverpool have played in their pre-season.
The septet will likely miss out for Liverpool against Arsenal as well, with Alexander-Arnold the only player who might be in contention to feature in some capacity. Klopp alluded towards the same during his pre-match press conference.
“All the boys which were not involved so far or got slight knocks in pre-season will not be available for tomorrow, but [are] getting closer, really closer, closer and closer so hopefully the majority of them can start training completely normal after the Arsenal game, but this game is now a bit too early for them. Maybe one or two [will be] involved in the squad, we have to see.
“That’s it pretty much. Hendo and Joel [Matip] looking really good, on a good way. Ox, early stages but good. Shaq, good. Trent, very close, we have to make a decision about tomorrow. Harry [Wilson] looks good.”
Alexander-Arnold is likely to be given time to regain full fitness, meaning Neco Williams starts as the right-back against Arsenal. On the opposite flank, Andrew Robertson should start, with new signing Kostas Tsimikas waiting for his competitive debut. At the heart of the Liverpool defence, the big concern has been the status of Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman sustained a head injury in Liverpool’s friendly against Red Bull Salzburg and it was suspected that he could miss out against Arsenal. However, Klopp iterated that van Dijk “looks fine“, meaning he should start alongside Joe Gomez in the central defensive partnership.
Up ahead in midfield, Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Naby Keita pick themselves in the absence of former Arsenal man Oxlade-Chamberlain and Liverpool captain Henderson. Finally, in attack, there is no looking past Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson; Williams, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane