| Saturday, July 30th |
Community Shield | King Power Stadium, Leicester
5PM BST/12PM EST
It does feel, a bit, as though the last season just ended, as the World Cup has caused the domestic schedule to jump forward. In a way, it might be helpful for Liverpool fans — and the Reds — to have a less important game against very good opposition to get up to speed ahead of the Premier League start against Fulham.
The Community Shield always feels like a game that doesn’t really matter until it kicks off, and then you realize there’s a Jordan Henderson trophy shuffle moment up for grabs. Last season these two sides managed to draws in the league, and the Reds went through against City in the FA Cup semi-final in a brilliant game that was nonetheless a game of two halves.
Given where we are in the new season, I would expect the Community Shield to be a messier version of the Cup match, though Liverpool have more fitness concerns than City do.
Erling Haaland is here, and we get to be the first opponents tested against him. As for other new signings for City: Kalvin Phillips is more of a known quantity; Argentine international Julián Álvarez is a forward we could see tomorrow, though we haven’t heard much about him; new goalkeeper Stefan Ortega, fresh from the Bundasliga, has reportedly impressed Pep Guardiola in pre-season.
Their absences are limited: Aymeric Laporte is recovering from surgery and is out until September, per Pep Guardiola. During this tranfer window, City have got rid of Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko (both to Arsenal).
We will be the first to have a look at “new(ish) look” Manchester City — in some ways an advantage ahead of another testing season.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Adrián; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Díaz
The Community Shield will be our fifth pre-season game, but only Manchester City’s third — though Liverpool’s injury-forced absences are more notable.
Both Alisson (abdomen issue) and Caoimhín Kelleher (groin) are missing through injury, handing Adrián the start (and getting one of the younger fellas on the bench). Diogo Jota, too, sees this match coming too early for his recovery from a recurring hamstring injury.
New signings are all eligible and fit, though whether they will start is uncertain. Harvey Elliott has impressed in pre-season and might earn himself a start; who Jürgen Klopp chooses to pair with Virgil Van Dijk is similarly up in the air, as Joël Matip and Ibrahima Konaté are both established alongside Van Dijk, and Joe Gomez could use more competitive time as he looks to regain a place following his long-term injury from a few seasons ago.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: ”It’s very important. We have played this ‘final’ a couple of times and it would be nice if we could win it. It’s the last domestic cup competition we didn’t win yet, so we will give it a try.”
Pep Guardiola: ““New people have arrived; they have settled quickly. They are down to earth, very humble people, and we are going to try as Manchester City, not this player or the other one, it’s all of us.”
Referee: Craig Pawson; Assistants: Harry Lennard, Nick Hopton; Fourth Official: Darren England; VAR: John Brooks; Assistant VAR: Lee Betts
Kickoff is set for 5PM BST/12PM EST tomorrow. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.