| Sunday, August 4th |
Community Shield | Wembley Stadium
3PM GMT/10AM EST
Welcome back! We still have a week until the Premier League starts back up, but Liverpool are set to kick off their season on the right foot when they take on Manchester city in the Community Shield on Sunday afternoon. Usually this game pits the league winner against the winner of the FA Cup. However, since Manchester City picked up both, Liverpool, who came in second place in the league, got the call.
The last time that Liverpool played this game was in 2005, after their FA Cup win. Manchester City, meanwhile, beat Arsenal last season to win the trophy and will be looking to duplicate that feat on Sunday.
It feels like yesterday that we watched Jordan Henderson raise the Champions League trophy, yet I’m already hungry for the Reds to pick up another. They’ll get the chance to begin the season on a positive note by adding the Community Shield to their trophy case.
Jürgen Klopp’s team hasn’t had the best pre-season, though they were without some of their best players during the United States tour. They also haven’t yet made any significant signings to strengthen their squad in the summer transfer window. Klopp will have the renewed services of the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, both of whom missed huge chunks of last season. Still, they’ll be looking to prove that these players still have what it takes to compete for the league title, even without a marquee signing to get the fans’ blood pumping.
The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City is relatively recent as both teams have found themselves battling it out for all of the top prizes, both domestically and in Europe. Liverpool beat Manchester City in the quarterfinals of the 2017-18 Champions League competition when the Cityzens were virtually unstoppable in the league. Manchester City, meanwhile, were the only team to beat Liverpool in the Premier League last season, marring an otherwise indomitable run and taking the title for themselves in the process.
Sunday’s game will be the next chapter to add to this fascinating tale.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Henderson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Origi
Hard to say that Liverpool will be at their best for this game, with so many extended absences due to the Copa America and African Cup of Nations. Sadio Mane, newly returned after coming in as runner-up in Cairo, will not be included. Therefore, expect Champions League hero Divock Origi to make the starting XI in his place.
At the moment, the manager has plenty of midfield players to choose from, with the likes of Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Oxlade-Chamberlain all returning to fitness. However, for this match, we’ll likely see Klopp go with what worked last season.
Manchester City have every player back and available, expect for Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy. They’ll also have new recruit Rodri to add to the mix, should Pep Guardiola choose.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “It’s a new situation. We have prepared everybody as well as possible. We have to fight at the start of the season 100 per cent with all we have and the good thing is if the opponents want to analyse us now then they think ‘easy job’ – but we will be a different animal next week.”
Pep Guardiola: “We won almost every trophy (last season), not all of them. It was quite remarkable. We know each other better now than the first season. That’s easier for our job. We start from zero now, we start again. But we are ready to accept the challenge.”
Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Sian Massey-Ellis, Dan Cook Fourth official: Stuart Attwell
Kickoff is set for 3PM GMT/10AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.