Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Community Shield: Martinez, Maitland-Niles start for Arsenal as Alexander-Arnold misses out

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Aug 2020

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Emiliano Martinez and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have both been selected to start for Arsenal in the Community Shield clash with Liverpool, who are without Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Goalkeeper Martinez impressed at the end of 2019-20 while filling in for the injured Bernd Leno, but has reportedly asked for a move away from Arsenal in order to secure first-team football.

Aston Villa are among the teams to have been linked with a move for the Argentinian, though despite the speculation over his future – and Leno’s return to fitness – Mikel Arteta picked Martinez to start in Saturday’s encounter with the Premier League champions.

Maitland-Niles is another Gunners player potentially on the move, with Wolves and Newcastle United apparently interested in the versatile midfielder, though he too was chosen to start on his 23rd birthday.

Rob Holding – who is reportedly set to join Newcastle on loan for the season – was picked alongside David Luiz in defence, while Mohamed Elneny was something of a surprise inclusion for the FA Cup winners, who are captained by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

New signing William Saliba was named on the bench.

Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, picked full-back Neco Williams in his starting XI, with Alexander-Arnold having failed to recover from a minor injury.

Virgil van Dijk lines up despite sustaining a knock to the head in pre-season, while Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are all playing from the off for Liverpool.

Rhian Brewster, who scored twice from the bench as Liverpool came from behind to draw 2-2 with Salzburg in a friendly last time out, is among the substitutes, as is recent arrival Kostas Tsimikas.

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