Community Shield preview: Liverpool v Manchester City preview, team news, prediction & best bets ahead of Wembley curtain-raiser

Manchester City face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday
Manchester City face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday

Premier League champions Manchester City face European kings Liverpool in the traditional Wembley curtain-raiser. Paul Higham previews the big game.

Recommended bets

2pts Man City to win in 90 minutes at Evens

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Liverpool vs Manchester City
Kick-off time: 3pm BST
Sunday August 4 - BT Sport 1

The new season started as the last one ended, and that’s with Manchester City and Liverpool going toe-to-toe for some silverware, this time in the annual curtain-raiser that is the Community Shield.

There’s usually not too much attention or importance placed on the result of this one, but given it’s the European champions versus the treble-winning dominant domestic force then that ramps up the interest tenfold.

While we all love an overreaction among media and fans alike, this is not a title decider one way or another, but that will not stop the winner being billed as the champions elect or the loser’s chances being written off already – that’s just how football goes.

It’s a glorified pre-season runabout, but don’t for one second think that it won’t be competitive, as these players will want to get an early dig in for what will most likely be another two-horse race for the Premier League.

It may not be exactly the sides that will contest the Premier League title race, but both managers will be fielding as strong a side as they dare with injury a really worry at this stage of the season.

Who will line up?

For the Premier League champions, Claudio Bravo will start in goal with Ederson one of a host of players in both sides returning late from summer international duty - Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Nicolas Otamendi only returning this week.

Not satisfied with a domestic clean sweep, Riyad Mahrez went on to lift the African Cup of Nations with Algeria this summer so has been given an extended break, but it will still be a strong City line-up with Kevin De Bruyne in particular looking to make up for lost time last season.

For Liverpool, Sadio Mane will be their only absentee after he also made the AFCON final with Senegal, and Alisson Becker, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all returned to the squad for pre-season this week.

“We cannot risk any players,” said a cautious Klopp, summing up the tightrope both he and Guardiola face for the game. “We have to see who will be able to line-up and who will train and who will play.”

Klopp said there was a chance both Salah and Firmino could play on Sunday, but made it sound like starts for the pair were unlikely.

Youngsters Sepp van den Berg, Ki-Jana Hoever and Yasser Larouci have played a lot during pre-season, but new signing Harvey Elliott looks like the only one who could make the bench on Sunday, with Klopp’s experienced battlers from last season set to start.

City have been slicker in pre-season and Liverpool’s top stars have played barely half an hour for the Reds this summer, so it’s Guardiola’s side who will be fancied to kick-off the season with a win.


Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)

You’re basically watching a friendly with no real clue how fit the best players are and who exactly will play, so it’s perhaps one to wait for the team sheets before pinning your colours to the mast.

However, based on what we’ve seen so far this summer, City seem to be just a step ahead of Liverpool in their preparations and the Reds may well have to use this game as a stepping stone for fitness and match sharpness ahead of their early start to the season on Friday.

There may be no Aguero, Jesus or Mahrez, but there are plenty of attacking options left for Guardiola and the fact of the matter is that City have a better depth of quality in their squad than Liverpool, so if the first-teamers are only playing bit parts in this game the advantage has to go to the Premier League champions.

It should be a relatively low-scoring affair given the respect between the two teams and it being pre-season still, but we should have a 90 minute winner, and while Raheem Sterling hasn't played great against his former side since swapping Anfield for the Etihad, he usually shows up at Wembley and in the central role he's expected to play he's a huge fancy to find the net.

Best bet: Man City to win in 90 minutes at Evens

Goals: Raheem Sterling first goalscorer at 5/1

Odds correct as of 1633 BST on 02/08/19

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Manchester City's 8-0 win over Watford is the club's biggest ever Premier League victory1

PL highlights: Record breaking City

Manchester City returned to Premier League winning ways in stunning style with an 8-0 victory, watch full highlights from all of Saturday's matches

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package and free tips2

Sunday's Premier League tips

George Pitts looks ahead to the four Premier League games on Sunday, with a cracker at Stamford Bridge and 12/1 and 13/5 tips to consider.

Vadillo makes it 2-0 to Granada3

Granada stun Barcelona to go top

Granada took advantage of Barcelona's troubles on the road to move top of LaLiga with a 2-0 victory at the Estadio Los Carmenes.

Fulham celebrate Tom Cairney's goal at Sheffield Wednesday
4

Highlights: Every Championship goal

Nottingham Forest made it three straight wins in the Sky Bet Championship. Watch highlights from every game, plus full match reports.

Premier League and EFL football gossip and transfer rumours
5

Paper Talk: Spygate hits top flight

Liverpool and Man City have been caught up in a hacking scandal after it was reported the Reds had to pay a £1m settlement to the Premier League champions.

Most Read Football

Manchester City's 8-0 win over Watford is the club's biggest ever Premier League victory1

PL highlights: Record breaking City

Manchester City returned to Premier League winning ways in stunning style with an 8-0 victory, watch full highlights from all of Saturday's matches

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package and free tips2

Sunday's Premier League tips

George Pitts looks ahead to the four Premier League games on Sunday, with a cracker at Stamford Bridge and 12/1 and 13/5 tips to consider.

Vadillo makes it 2-0 to Granada3

Granada stun Barcelona to go top

Granada took advantage of Barcelona's troubles on the road to move top of LaLiga with a 2-0 victory at the Estadio Los Carmenes.

Fulham celebrate Tom Cairney's goal at Sheffield Wednesday
4

Highlights: Every Championship goal

Nottingham Forest made it three straight wins in the Sky Bet Championship. Watch highlights from every game, plus full match reports.

Premier League and EFL football gossip and transfer rumours
5

Paper Talk: Spygate hits top flight

Liverpool and Man City have been caught up in a hacking scandal after it was reported the Reds had to pay a £1m settlement to the Premier League champions.

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package and free tips

Sunday's Premier League tips

George Pitts looks ahead to the four Premier League games on Sunday, with a cracker at Stamford Bridge and 12/1 and 13/5 tips to consider.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.

Logician coasts home under Frankie Dettori

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in September 2019.