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Community Shield clash between Liverpool and Arsenal ‘set to feature fringe and youth players’

Liverpool and Arsenal are reportedly set to field a series of fringe players and youth stars during the Community Shield final, as football battles against a hectic schedule.

Despite the season having recently concluded, the two sides will meet at the end of August to battle for the first piece of silverware of the 2020/21 campaign.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the entire calendar, meaning Jurgen Klopp’s side and the Gunners will make the call to hand opportunities to lesser known names, according to the Mirror.

Both sides will meet on August 29, which is awkwardly sandwiched between the start of pre-season and the first international break.

The match will act as an extension of the regular pre-season plans for the two clubs, with Arsenal not actually returning to training until the week beginning August 17.

Liverpool meanwhile are preparing to lose the majority of the senior ranks immediately after the Wembley showdown due to international duty.

Klopp is set to have his side back at their Melwood base on August 15, in less than two weeks time.

The ruthless nature of the drastically shortened football summer therefore means managers are poised to be much more sparing with their squads, in order to avoid serious injury as the new campaign takes hold.

It was initially hoped that the Community Shield fixture could have been used as a test run to bring supporters back into football stadiums.

It was reported that Premier League clubs had agreed collectively that the Community Shield should go ahead as normal, should it be able to facilitate the re-introduction of fans.

This will now no longer happen, following the Government’s delay of the full easing of lockdown restrictions. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has voiced concern over the mounting numbers of covid-19 cases once more, while talk of a second spike across Europe is now gathering pace.

The FA have confirmed the Community Shield will still be played, though the onus is now on Liverpool and Arsenal to decide what kind of teams they field.

Both clubs have won the shield on 15 occasions respectively, and sit just behind Manchester United (21) in teams to have lifted the piece of silverware. 

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