Arsenal vs Liverpool: Combined XI of the 2020/21 Community Shield Sides

It seems only moments ago that we were all tuned in to the FA Cup final.

The summer transfer window is in full swing, the shortest pre-season we've seen is almost up, and the national stadium is hosting the Premier League curtain raiser already.

Two sides in very contrasting positions will contest the Community Shield. On one side, the outstanding team of last season, while in the other corner, Mikel Arteta will take charge of his transitional Arsenal side in his first full season in management.

Eighth against first. Is there any debate as to who makes it into a combined XI? Probably not, but we can argue the case for a few.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

Alisson (GK) - It's tough to overlook the impact that Emiliano Martinez made towards the latter end of last season, boasting the best save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League. As well as he played though, Alisson just oozes class in between the sticks, and has longevity over his South American counterpart.

Hector Bellerin (RB) - Ok, obviously it should be Trent Alexander-Arnold but he didn't join up with the Reds for their pre-season in Austria and is unlikely to be thrown in here. Bellerin gets the nod over young Neco Williams despite the transfer links to Juventus.

Joe Gomez (CB) - A player transformed after a fine spell at the tail end of last year, even if he conceded four penalties in the league last season, he's getting into this team no questions asked.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - The moans of discontent about Skhodran Mustafi missing out fall on deaf ears here. Even if the Arsenal Twitterverse did their upmost to put him in the Emirates Community Shield combined XI. Nice try, lads.

Kieran Tierney (LB) - While it's an entirely valid claim to make about Andrew Robertson being better going forward, Tierney is the more defensively assured of the two.


Midfielders

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - No assists in either of his last two Premier League seasons? I call fraud! Yes, really, those are the views of a select few supporters these days. Totally ignoring that Wijnaldum is a superb all-rounder, immensely hard working and boasts the best smile in football. Hush now, you fools.

Fabinho (CM) - About as solid as holding midfielders come, the Brazilian is the rock in midfield that allows Liverpool's attacking quintet to flourish. Moreover, he's got an eye for a wicked pass and thunder in his boots.

Granit Xhaka (CM) - Before anyone blurts out that this is probably the most defensively boring midfield we could have made, yes, that feeling is mutual. However, Jordan Henderson is likely out, Dani Ceballos is no longer an Arsenal player, Mesut Ozil hasn't played for six years and Naby Keita's form is a little indifferent. Xhaka, on the other hand, has actually played well of late.


Forwards

Mohamed Salah (RW) - When you reach a certain level, you become more open to criticism since, if you don't match that astronomical heights, you're doing something wrong. Salah has been so good since he joined Liverpool that anything less than a goal/assist every game is below par. Extremely unjust. Enjoy him for what he is: marvelous.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - Down the middle? Are you mad? No, we're not, it's just that you can't leave Aubameyang out of any team, let alone one dominated by Liverpool players. He's found a new groove coming in off the left, but that doesn't discount years of glorious service as a centre forward.

Sadio Mane (LW) - Completing our triumvirate of African assassins is Mane, as if this front line couldn't get any faster or be capable of scoring any more goals. Roberto Firmino is the glue that ties the trio together at Anfield, but it's hard not to gaze upon the three chosen here and tremble in fear for the opponent they'd face.



Source : 90min