Manchester City and Liverpool were undoubtedly the two best teams in the Premier League last season. The rivalry that sparked between the Reds and the Blues has been one of the fiercest in recent memory, on and off the playing field.
On the pitch, their previous campaigns went right down to the wire for the Premier League crown. With Sunday’s Community Shield pitting both Jurgen Klopp’s and Pep Guardiola’s teams against each other once again. The start of a new season promises only the beginning of that rivalry.
The credibility of the Community Shield as a fully-fledged trophy is a debate that has invaded playground chatter, office banter and social media comment sections. But with these two teams so desperate in their individual hunts for silverware, the Community Shield won’t be dismissed.
Both managers will only have eyes on victory. The opportunity to set their season off with a piece of silverware, also an opportunity for an early one up over their rivals. Something both sets of loyal supporters would relish.
In terms of squads, Jurgen Klopp has made his displeasure vocal in press conferences that Liverpool had to meander through their pre-season period with five or six of their first-team players not being available. Whether Klopp knows this or not, Guardiola has had the exact same issue with six of his first-team players. Yet Guardiola didn’t bring this issue to light and instead got on with the squad he had at his disposal.
If Klopp is genuinely concerned about his lack of squad depth going into a new season as Champions League holders. Then the fact that 16-year-old Harvey Elliott is the only addition, his concerns are understandable.
On the other side in the Blue camp, City have breached their record transfer fee with the £62 million swoop of Rodrigo from Atletico Madrid. Guardiola and the City board will have recognised that central midfield was an area they had to strengthen. Especially with midfield fan favourite Fernandinho being well into his thirties, despite being such a versatile and reliable performer.
The Rodrigo transfer, and Liverpool’s lack of transfers, may be the reason Klopp used the words “fantasia land” to describe clubs that often make big money transfers.
Despite City having such enormous financial backing. Putting City in the same bracket as Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG is unfair.
For a club whose transfer record is just over £60 million, City definitely have the trophies to show for it.
My next thought was for the fact that Liverpool currently holds the record for most expensive goalkeeper and defender. So, it seems the Merseyside club are capable of visiting Fantasia Land when they need to.
With both managers being regarded as the best football coaches in the world right now, managing teams that have between them won every top domestic and European trophy available, this Sunday’s Community Shield clash will sure to be filled with drama and excellent football.