Manchester City Evens
To lift the Trophy
Both teams to score
Community Shield Preview
The longest two months of the year are over, and football is finally back. England, Germany, and France will all be putting on their showpiece openers, as the League winners are meant to face the Cup winners. However, as City and Bayern won both League and Cup, it’ll be League winners vs League runners-up, with City taking on Liverpool and Bayern facing Dortmund, respectively.
Our focus lies firmly with the EPL tussle, currently known as the Community Shield (previously the Charity Shield). I think it’s fascinating that the mind games between Klopp and Pep have begun as early as August, adding a little more spice to this game. This is probably given the fact that last year’s table saw the pair cut adrift from the others, and they probably only see each other as viable contenders for the title. This is a sentiment echoed by many football experts- including myself- a bitter pill to swallow for a lifelong Manchester United fan.
Both managers began summer training by complaining about the international summer tournaments and claiming various players wouldn’t be ready to feature at the start of the season, despite the fact Mo Salah, Allison and Bobby Firminho, all played for Liverpool in the week- I guess it was a minor miracle. Since then, Klopp has taken a shot about City’s constant ability to spend money, claiming Liverpool don’t live in “Fantasy land.” Meanwhile, Pep didn’t waste any time in responding and refuting Klopp’s claim. All this, before a ball has been kicked.
Moving onto tomorrow’s game, it’s difficult to confidently pick a winner, as I firmly believe it’ll come down to mindset. In recent years, Jose Mourinho has viewed the Community Shield as an actual trophy and counted it towards United’s trophy tally. Meanwhile, despite not vocally claiming it as silverware, Pep is known to want to win everything and fielded a strong line-up against Chelsea last year- putting in all his World Cup pre-season absentees- as City comfortably beat Chelsea 2-0. This would probably give you good cause to go with City, especially since Liverpool all but voluntarily exited the FA Cup and League Cup last year, with poor team selections. However, if Klopp wants to maintain momentum- after finally winning a trophy with Liverpool in June- then this match once again becomes a 50-50 game, clearly proven by the combined XI I’ve compiled (on the basis that ALL players are available).
As you can see, City narrowly edge Liverpool in my combined XI, however, Liverpool fans would argue the fact I’ve included no Liverpool midfielders and would also make a case for Mane over Sterling, therefore, it’s fair to say the strongest XIs are fairly even. With that said, whilst the XIs are neck and neck, Manchester City’s squad is certainly superior to that of Liverpool- this could be key tomorrow, with both Managers claiming to be short of options. I think City will edge Liverpool out tomorrow, and I’m going for a City win (evens) and a 2-1 scoreline (7/1).
For those of you who enjoy the combined XI’s, I have some good news for you all. This will now become a regular feature on this site, as I will be breaking down the “game of the week” each week. I will also be giving out my weekly EPL scoreline predictions.
However, if you still want my Lock, Dog, and Parlay, with an extensive breakdown of each game, including potential leans on over/under, both teams to score, goal-scorers, handicap markets and much much more, your No.1 resource for all things EPL, will still be the EPL Show. The EPL Show will be available EVERY THURSDAY on the SGP Network podcast feed, as we look to deliver another fantastic Lock record this season, after finishing 47-11 in 2018/19.