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LIV vs MCI, 2022 FA Community Shield: MPL Preview, Predictions & Fantasy Team

The fixture that raises the curtain to English football every single season, has finally arrived in the shape of the Community Shield. On this occasion it will be contested between two sides, Liverpool and Manchester City, who fought neck to neck for the Premier League title up until the final match day of last season. The 2022 FA Community Shield will take place at the famous King Power Stadium in Leicester on Saturday.

Of course, in a fixture involving Liverpool and Manchester City, there is plenty of recent history that simmers underneath. While Jurgen Klopp’s side got their hands on the domestic FA and EFL cups last season, they fell one step shot in the final of the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Manchester City were able to beat them to win the Premier League and establish their status as top dogs yet again.

This year, the Community Shield fixture is not being hosted at its usual venue, the Wembley Stadium, which is busy with the Women’s Euros currently. The England women’s team will be looking to go one step further than the men did at the final of Euro 2020. The Lionesses will take on Germany in order to lift the biggest prize in Europe.

Instead, the 100th Community Shield will now be contested at the King Power Stadium, which is the home of last season’s winners Leicester City. The Foxes defeated Manchester City 1-0 in the final thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal in the dying minutes of the contest. Liverpool also have a bad omen surrounding Leicester City and its home ground as it was one of the few stadiums where they conceded a loss during their 2021-22 Premier League campaign.

The Reds, from Merseyside, have been crowned as the winners of the Community Shield on 10 different occasions and have shared the honour with other clubs in five seasons. However, this particular silverware has been missing from their trophy cabinet since 2006.

Liverpool have had plenty of experience of playing in finals recently. They proved victorious during the EFL Cup and FA Cup final matches, both of which were against Chelsea and with the matches eventually going to penalties. The Reds held their composure and saw off any threat from their London counterparts to win the penalty shootout on both occasions and lift the domestic double. With that being said, however, Liverpool’s last two Community Shield defeats have also arrived from 12 yards, most recently losing to Arsenal in the 2020 edition.

For a side that was fighting for an unprecedented quadruple in English football, last season’s ending left a bitter taste in the mouth for a section of the Liverpool fans. As mentioned before, the Premier League title race dragged until the final matchday but Manchester City turned things around in the final 45 minutes of their fixture against Aston Villa to lift the Premier League trophy for the fourth time in five seasons.

Jurgen Klopp’s side then lost the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid courtesy of Vinicius Jr’s second-half goal. The Reds had also made it to the final of the 2018 Champions League, where they had suffered a defeat to the same opponents.

Pre-season, for Liverpool, hasn’t exactly been encouraging either. They have won and lost two fixtures each so far. Preparations for a face-off with Manchester City also did not go according to plan in Austria as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Red Bull Salzburg. Strasbourg will also pay a visit to Anfield almost 24 hours after the Community Shield.

The final Premier League fixture against Aston Villa wasn’t the only occasion of lightning striking twice for Manchester City in recent months as it literally did strike twice at the Lambeau Field where the English champions were having a friendly match with German champions Bayern Munich. The match had to be delayed by 15 minutes and was then shortened by a further 10 because of stormy weather conditions in Green Bay.

Because of the adverse weather, players had to be taken off the field of play. However, there had been enough time in the game for Pep Guardiola and the Manchester City fans to witness their star striker and signing of the summer Erling Haaland score his first goal for the club to secure a 1-0 win over the Bavarian club. This was their second win in a row in pre-season as they had also defeated Club America 2-1 before thanks to a double strike from their heartbeat in midfield Kevin De Bruyne.

The pre-season period has technically come to an end for Manchester City for now, but Guardiola will also have to play another match against his childhood club and the team he first managed in his career Barcelona for an ALS charity friendly in honour of his compatriot Juan Carlos Unzue towards the end of August. The Citizens also have more than enough fuel they need to come out on top in the annual curtain-raiser of English football.

Leicester City had done enough and a wonder strike from Kelechi Iheanacho prevented Pep Guardiola’s unit from getting their hands on the Community Shield trophy last year. They have won this honour on six different occasions in their history but what’s unsettling is the fact that they have lost more Community Shield matches than they have won.

Manchester City and Liverpool are the two best sides in England and arguably two of the best in Europe. As a result, meetings between them in the finals and the latter stages of cup tournaments are pretty common now. The 2021-22 season also saw the two teams play out a couple of thrilling 2-2 draws in the Premier League. Liverpool also survived a scare to win their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City 3-2.

Hostilities are expected to resume whenever Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s sides meet. But for all their intense rivalry off the pitch, the fixture hasn’t gotten out of hand and there has always been respect both on the field and off it. There’s no better way to start the English football season than with this meeting between the two English giants.

LIV vs MCI, 2022 FA Community Shield

Date: 30th July, 2022

Time: 9:30 PM IST

Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester

FORM GUIDE:

Liverpool pre-season form:

  • L-W-W-L

Manchester City pre-season form:

  • W-W

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Liverpool wins: 79

Draws: 46

Manchester City wins: 45

TEAM NEWS:

Liverpool Team News:

Even during the pre-season, the Liverpool medical treatment room seems to be working at full capacity much to the chagrin of the fans and the manager. Jurgen Klopp has had to come out and confirm the reports that their number 1 in goal, Alisson Becker, will indeed miss the Community Shield fixture due to an abdominal problem.

Diogo Jota continues to suffer from a hamstring injury which has rendered him unavailable for a while now. Meanwhile, Kostas Tsimikas is there to provide company to Alex Oxlade Chamberlain in the medical bay after he picked up a fresh knock and got injured in training.

Calvin Ramsay and Caoimhin Kelleher are also said to be suffering from problems during the pre-season and may not be risked for this fixture. This could see Adrian start between the sticks for Liverpool.

Roberto Firmino continues to be linked with a move outside Anfield and rumours of a departure to Turin are getting stronger but Klopp continues to reiterate the importance of the Brazilian who is expected to get the nod ahead of summer signing Darwin Nunez, who is still adapting to the team.

Manchester City Team News:

As far as Manchester City are concerned, Ruben Dias was on the field for 57 minutes against Bayern Munich despite suffering from illness and injury. However, left-footed centre-back Aymeric Laporte remains out of contention due to his knee injury.

Manchester City were unable to bring along John Stones, Phil Foden, and Ilkay Gundogan with them to the USA for pre-season but they will certainly be back in Pep Guardiola’s plans for this fixture. Nathan Ake, who has been strongly linked with Chelsea in recent weeks, will probably end up partnering Stones in defence in order to take the responsibility off Dias and Laporte’s shoulders.

Although Erling Haaland got just 41 minutes of action in Green Bay, he will be expected to lead the line for Manchester City. Partnering him in attack will be last season’s 100 million signing Jack Grealish. Young Argentine sensation Julian Alvarez will probably start on the bench but may come on at some point in the second half. Guardiola might also be tempted to bring on Kalvin Phillips for his competitive Manchester City debut in the second 45.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:

Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Diaz

Manchester City possible starting lineup:

Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish

Predictions:

Whenever Liverpool and Manchester City collide, fireworks go off and chances are almost created at will due to the strong resources both sides have at their disposal in the frontline. However, both managers might be tempted to adopt a more conservative approach for this fixture in order to avoid any chances of an injury that would dampen the upcoming season of the Premier League.

Liverpool might once again have to rely on their penalty shootout prowess as both sides can hardly be separated on the pitch in terms of quality, maybe with the exception of the starting goalkeepers. However, if Klopp manages to hold City to a stalemate within 90 minutes, the Reds may well succeed in the penalty shootout to lift the Community Shield.

LIV vs MCI Fantasy XI No. 1

LIV vs MCI Fantasy XI No. 2

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