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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK
Curtain-raiser in Cardiff
Liverpool players rush to congratulate Michael Owen at the 2001 FA Cup final
Owen (right) broke Arsenal hearts in 2001
Arsenal v Liverpool | Community Shield
Sun 11 August | 1400 BST
Live on BBC Radio Five Live

Arsenal and Liverpool meet in the annual curtain-raiser at Cardiff in what should be a fascinating duel between two of England's top teams.

Last season, Premiership champions Arsenal were the top team, while Liverpool finished second, their highest finish in top-flight football for 11 years.

In three meetings between the two teams last season, Arsene Wenger's Gunners won twice in three furious encounters.

Their last meeting, in the FA Cup fourth round, saw three players sent off, with Liverpool's Jamie Carragher making all the headlines after throwing a coin into the crowd.


We want to win it because that creates a winning mentality and it puts one over on Arsenal
Liverpool's Danny Murphy

Gerard Houllier's quest to bring the title to Anfield for the first time since 1990 has seen him spend heavily during the summer.

Of those signings, Senegalese duo El Hadji Diouf and Salif Diao could well feature in Cardiff, while exciting striker Milan Baros, recruited last season, could also figure.

For Arsenal, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg are missing and Brazilian Gilberto Silva may not figure because of work permit problems.

Newly-acquired French defender Pascal Cygan should also play some part as Arsenal begin a new era, with legendary defender Tony Adams finally confirming his retirement.

Since Houllier took full control at Anfield in 1998, he has enjoyed the better of things when the two sides have met.

In nine meetings when Houllier and Wenger have been in charge, Liverpool have won four, including the 2001 FA Cup final, when Michael Owen scored two late goals.

There remains concern about Owen's fitness, but he is expected to figure at the Millennium Stadium.

Owen's manager is predicting that wounded French pride may spur Arsenal on to even greater achievements this season.

Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira returned to London after a disastrous World Cup for France and both have stated their desire in recent weeks to stay with the Gunners.

Henry will be meeting last season's meanest Premiership defence in the form of Sami Hyypia and Stephane Henchoz.

But Finnish international Hyypia has admitted that Henry is the man he struggles to contain.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Keith Yorke
"Arsenal are expected to go all out to win"
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger
"It's the first test of the season"
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"We prepare for success"

Grand opening

Graphic goal

Shield in focus

Meet the managers

Squad profiles

PHOTO GALLERY
Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


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