Liverpool’s fifth pre-season game pits them against Man City in the Community Shield following their respective FA Cup and Premier League success, in the first of many fights this season.
Liverpool v Man City
Community Shield | King Power Stadium
Saturday July 30, 2022 | 5:00 p.m. (BST)
After successful trips to Asia, Germany and Austria, Liverpool are back home for the season’s curtain raiser, with the first piece of silverware also in play.
Pep Guardiola’s side are the opposition to Leicester as last season’s Premier League champions meet the FA Cup holders.
Here are 10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool’s Community Shield clash.
1. A different backdrop
The 100th FA Community Shield will see the King Power Stadium in Leicester host instead of Wembley, which is used for the final of the Women’s European Championships this weekend.
It’s the first time in 10 years that England’s national stadium hasn’t hosted the game, but with both clubs based in the north it certainly speeds up the trip – or if there was no strike trains.
2. Adrian in goal
Jurgen Klopp delivered good news and bad news on Alisson’s fitness on Thursday, with the weekend games set to come too soon, but luckily he will be back for the opener at Fulham.
With the Brazilian out of action against Man City, Adrian will come on as a substitute once again to boost his pre-season minutes above 300.
As for the other absentees, Diogo Jota, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Caoimhin Kelleher, Kaide Gordon and Calvin Ramsay will all be absent.
A knock for Kostas Tsimikas saw him miss against Salzburg in midweek and with him missing out on Thursday’s training, this weekend could come too soon.
3. A solid XI for the 90s
With seven days between the Community Shield clash and the trip to Fulham, Klopp has already signaled his intention to see his chosen XI play 90 minutes for ‘the first time’.
After a hint of the defeat at Salzburg, a solid starting line-up looks set to take the field at King Power, one that wouldn’t hurt at Craven Cottage – other than Alisson replacing Adrian.
It could be that Joel Matip is chosen over Ibrahima Konate and Jordan Henderson instead of Naby Keita, with Roberto Firmino also getting the nod up front.
Probably Reds XI: Adrian; Alexandre-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Diaz, Firmino
4. Missing key defender for City
Man City are heading to their meeting with Liverpool on the back of just two pre-season friends, which took place against Club America and Bayern Munich in the United States.
It’s a contrasting approach to how Klopp envisions an ideal pre-season, with just 21 players for City in their absence.
Guardiola saw Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko leave in the summer and will now be without Aymeric Laporte until September with the defender undergoing knee surgery.
That leaves Ruben Dias, John Stones and Nathan Ake as senior centre-back options for City, with Dias and Ake being the likely partnership on Saturday. Stones has yet to play in the preseason.
5. Are extensions possible?
Much to Klopp’s relief, no.
If the game ends after 90 minutes it’s straight to the penalty spot for a shootout, which Liverpool are no stranger to last season or in the Community Shield.
The Reds have won all three of their penalty shootouts in 2021/22, which have seen both the League Cup and FA Cup given the random Henderson treatment.
Regarding the number of substitutes, each team can name nine players on the bench and make a maximum of six changes during the match.
6. First of 2 games in 26 hours!
The Community Shield is the fifth of the Reds’ six pre-season games, with the final game only taking place 26 hours after the first whistle at Leicester.
Liverpool will return to Anfield on Sunday for their last game before the start of the season, meeting Strasbourg, who finished sixth in Ligue 1 last term.
This game kicks off at 7.30pm and will see those who didn’t play much in the Community Shield clash continue to get valuable minutes in their legs.
7. Klopp nails the shield mentality
Widely regarded as a glorified friendly game, the Community Shield can take different forms depending on which side of the outcome a club is on.
It wasn’t lost on Klopp when he spoke to the press on Thursday, the manager is keen to see his side do well but knows it’s still only part of the pre-season schedule:
“Saturday’s game, will that say a lot about the season? I expect two good teams. I saw [vs. Salzburg]even when we lost, especially in the second half, I saw [us] in very good shape.
“Hopefully we can bring that to the pitch on Saturday as well. But, of course, it will be a challenge just to play 90 minutes, I’m not sure what the weather is like in England but it can be hot too.
“If you win it, it’s a very important competition and if you lose it, it becomes less important.”
8. Did you know?
Liverpool have lifted the Community/Charity Shield 15 times in the club’s history, but have not won the season’s curtain-raiser since 2006, although they have contested it twice since.
And, interestingly, of the 15 times the Reds have won the Shield, they only won the following league season five times.
Time to make 16 and 6?
9. It’s Pawson in the middle…
Craig Pawson is the referee for this match, he will be assisted by assistants Harry Lennard and Nick Hopton, with Darren England fourth official and John Brooks in the VAR booth.
Pawson is a referee who has already been criticized by Klopp, although he is not the only one!
The most notable and recent incident came after West Ham were given a goal in November’s 3-2 defeat of Liverpool despite a clear foul on Alisson, with Pawson accused of ‘hiding’ behind VAR.
“Not all referees, but he does. Not all referees,” Klopp said.
10. How can I? you Look?
In the UK, Liverpool vs. Man City will be live on ITV from 4.15pm (BST), with a kick-off to follow at 5pm.
But, as always, you can join live coverage of This Is Anfield on our live matchday blog, with Joanna Durkan to keep you entertained and informed throughout the clash.
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