By Paul Erewuba
Liverpool and Manchester City will renew hostiles today in the traditional season opener of the FA Community Shield.
Much was made about their rivalry during the Premier League title run last season, with many doubting the idea of placing it in the pantheon of great battles across the history of English football.
Still, what cannot be doubted is the almost unprecedented quality of both sides, making any meeting of the two a blockbuster event.
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have raised what it takes to succeed in English football. In pretty much any other fixture, it would be wise not to place too much importance on the result of what is effectively just another friendly, but the competitive nature of the two sides – and the two managers no less – make this a different matter entirely.
Klopp has confirmed that both Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota will miss the game as they continue their recoveries from injury.
With Jota injured, Darwin Nunez has an even better chance of making his debut on English soil for the club, while Adrian will come in for Alisson given that Caoimhin Kelleher is also struggling for fitness.
For City, Erling Haaland will likely join Nunez in making his first appearance for his new club in England. The forward scored in his first game against Bayern Munich, although he has been suffering with slight niggles, so it’s not clear as to how heavily he will be involved.
In the same vein, Aymeric Laporte is still not fit, although Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and John Stones are all available after missing their preseason tour of the US.
It’s difficult to make a definitive prediction given the fact that the teams have only played friendlies so far, but Liverpool has not always looked convincing this summer.