MATHEWS NDANDULA writes
FOOTBALL enthusiasts have been assured of catching this weekend’s action between FA cup winners Arsenal and Premier League champions Liverpool as Zambia s signal distributor TopStar will beam the charity shield live on their sports channels.
So far the company has shown commitment in bringing the football games live. Topstar has also confirmed having rights in televising the Spanish football LaLiga Santander when it kicks off next month.
However, when it comes to the Community Shield, both Arsenal and Liverpool – who will face each other in the 2020 edition of the competition on Saturday in Wembley know how to win.
Both teams have won the competition, which sees the league winners play against the FA Cup winners, 15 times, with only Manchester United (21) having more victories to their name.
Their latest results have been particularly impressive.
Arsenal have won seven of the nine times they stood in the final since 1998, while Liverpool – who have made less frequent trips to the final in recent times – won nine of 12 finals since 1982. However, three of those wins were shared as the FA only introduced extra time and penalties after 1991.
Although the Community Shield comes at a time when both clubs are still in training for the start of the Premier League season, it does give the winner not only bragging rights, but also a boost of confidence.
Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who picked up a knee injury during pre-season training in Austria.
Klopp, who took Liverpool to a first-ever Premier League title, said he did not know when the 27-year-old midfielder would be ready to return to action.
“Unfortunately we have one of those situations where it was a challenge and it looks like it’s very similar to what Hendo [Jordan Henderson] had,” Klopp said.
“It gets him out for, we don’t exactly know how long, but for sure this pre-season he will not make a game, for sure not Arsenal. We will see when the next game is, probably two weeks later. I don’t know, we have to wait.
“It is far away from being perfect and of course it’s really hard for him, hard for us, but it is not to change.”
The German coach, who was in Austria for pre-season with his side, said he was looking forward to the game against the Gunners. “We are in our own bubble, do nothing to bring anybody or ourselves in danger and just focus on football. We will finish the preparation back in England and play the first really, really important game against Arsenal.”