Community Shield preview: Liverpool v Manchester City

Community Shield preview: Liverpool v Manchester City

It’s rare that Pep Guardiola shows if his feathers are ruffled, but Friday saw the Manchester City manager rebel against criticism from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds’ manager has continuously downplayed Liverpool’s spending power as Liverpool has failed to land a marquee target this summer, pointing to Man City and Paris Saint-Germain as clubs who can spend every window.

And Guardiola, who was outspent by Klopp last season, admits that the comments got under his skin. From The Manchester Evening News:

“It bothers me. Of course it bothers me, because it’s not true that we spend £200million in every transfer market,” said Guardiola. “That is not true. So it’s Liverpool, you’ll never walk alone, so it’s not a small team. It’s Liverpool. So of course I don’t like it, because it’s not true.”

Klopp, it must be said, has had trouble giving consistent answers about the summer, beginning the window with an admission that he was wrong in saying big transfer fees would not become the norm.

And Liverpool has not been playing well in the run-up to Sunday’s Community Shield against City. The lack of goals isn’t a major surprise given that preseason has mostly lacked Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino, but the Reds are also defending poorly.

All are back for the Shield fight, and City will only be missing Fernandinho who is still building back to fitness after Brazil’s Copa America run.

And Pep is ready, perhaps with a little extra fire from Klopp under an engine which is always running pretty hot anyway.

PEP 💬 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.

— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 2, 2019

The thrillers between Man City and Liverpool get a new twist this season with the former’s addition of Rodri, who looks every bit the player for a Guardiola system.

He, as well as the dogged legs of Liverpool’s trident, will probably be the difference on Sunday if City scoops up its first bit of silverware.

Sunday’s match-up will also show us how far this rivalry has come in recent seasons, as it certainly has the feel of a barometer match for the 2019-20 campaign. Who will lay claim to the shield: the Champions League victors or the domestic treble winners?