Match Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester City

Liverpool and Manchester City square off at Wembley in the 2019 FA Community Shield at 16:00 (CET) on Sunday.

English football is finally back! The best two clubs from the previous campaign will raise the curtains this weekend, as they meet each other in the traditional season-opener, the FA Community Shield.

It’s the champions of Europe against the champions of England at Wembley, a game you simply cannot miss.

And while Liverpool won the Champions League last season, Manchester City dominated English football. The Citizens won the Premier League, the League Cup and the FA Cup, becoming the first side ever to win a domestic treble.

They will face their biggest league challengers in the Community Shield this weekend, Liverpool who put up a great fight, but still missed out on the championship by a single point.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds won 97 points, a tally which would have seen them lift the title in each of the Premier League campaigns before 2018.

Team news

Right-back Nathaniel Clyne will miss the game for Liverpool after rupturing his Anterior Cruciate Ligament against Borussia Dortmund in the pre-season friendlies.

However, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are back with the team, although they are both expected to start from the bench, alongside Xherdan Shaqiri.

Pep Guardiola confirmed Fernandinho is not back in training yet, while Benjamin Mendy is also sidelined with another knee issue.

The South American contingent and Riyad Mahrez, who had international duties over the summer are all in contention, but will probably not be included in the starting line-up.

Players to watch

What did the managers say

Jurgen Klopp does not believe that the Community Shield game against City would have a big influence on the 2019-20 Premier League season.

“We won the Super Cup [in Germany], but Pep won the league in these times. It obviously didn’t help us or harm them because it was just a game,” Klopp said via Liverpool’s official site.

“How it always is in football, I don’t want to make it bigger than it is. It’s one game and games are always influential but how much depends on the people involved.

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“We try to get confidence and to use it. If not, then we have to deal with it and learn from it. That’s the situation. We have to be ready. That’s enough from a motivation point of view.”

Pep Guardiola says he wants to keep improving and play “nicer football” in the upcoming 2019-20 campaign.

“We will be nicer this season. These players convinced me with what they did last season. There are no doubts,” Guardiola said via the Manchester City official website.

“At the end of last season I didn’t know how well we’d handle our success and I think it was incredible what they did after 100 points. The target is to keep improving.

“The physical condition (of the squad) is not the best. We will try to play with players who played minutes in pre-season because they have rhythm and they know the situation. The guys who came back later maybe will have a few minutes.”

Stats

This is going the be the first FA Community Shield meeting between Manchester City and Liverpool. Both sides played only once at Wembley previously, with City winning the 2016 League Cup Final on penalties.

Liverpool will be looking to win their 16th Shield this weekend and the first one since 2006, when they defeated Chelsea. It is also their first appearance since then.

Manchester City, on the other hand, won the Community Shield last season, beating Chelsea 2-0 thanks to a Sergio Aguero double.

The Citizens are unbeaten in their last seven games at Wembley Stadium (W6 D1) since losing to Arsenal in the 2017 Emirates FA Cup semi-final.

If Liverpool wins the trophy on Sunday, it will be only the fifth time in history the Premier League runners-up to do so.

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