By Joseph Atanu

On Sunday, the European Champions and the Premier League Champions will lock horns at the showpiece curtain raiser at Wembley, with the Premier League juggernauts kick-starting the 2019/2020 season with an FA community shield game between Liverpool and Manchester City.  

 Last season’s  battle for supremacy in England went down to the final game of the season, with Liverpool being the premier league’s best loser in history amassing 97 points while Manchester City became eventual winners holding on to the title by a single point difference, winning back-to-back titles; a feat last achieved by Manchester United in 2009.

Pep Guardiola’s men won the Premier league title in May after an extraordinary title race. Image credit: AFP

 The 2019/2020 FA Community Shield presents the first time both attack-minded coaches are locking horns in a community shield game; where the managers have been able to transmit their passion for the game into how their teams set up to play. Are we going to see a glimpse of what to expect from both teams this season? Will City look to continue their dominance in England or are Liverpool looking to ruin the trend for them this time around? Neutrals and rivals alike will be having a keen interest in this game, asides the promise of an attacking and entertaining encounter, will both managers choose to show their hands on tactics for the season in this game or it will be a run at fitness for their players?

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 Champions League hero Divock Origi will be looking to continue his fine form in big games and perhaps, this will be his opportunity to give Kloop a selection headache ahead of the season. City could be set to miss Aymeric Laporte due to a late knock he suffered. However, both teams have recently welcomed some vital names back to training following their international commitments this summer in the Copa America and Africa Cup of Nations.

Licerpool have some of their stars back in Pre-season action. Image credit: Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

 Last season, Kevin De Bruyne was sidelined for Manchester City a lot due to injuries, so also was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who suffered a knee ligament injury in April 2018; just about when his Liverpool career had gone off to a good start. Will it be poetic justice for Alex Chamberlain to be the joker for Jurgen Kloop in this game? Considering he got injured in a fixture against City, will Kevin De Bruyne start in the community shield or are there more tricks in the bag for Kloop and Pep to pull off?

 Sunday’s game may seem like a dead rubber encounter but make no mistakes, the season will begin in full for both managers – who won’t pass any opportunity to get one over the other, in order to start the season with a bang and huge bragging rights. Though 2019/2020 has a lot in stock for Kloop and Pep, will Pep finally get his hand on the elusive Champions League trophy? Dominating in England and falling short in Europe won’t be enough for the Etihad faithful this time around.  Kloop on the other hand has all to play for in England. The current European champions will be looking to add more silverware to a new era, what better silverware will the Anfield faithful want than the league title, which they haven’t won in over two decades! Klopp will be looking to keep it from becoming three decades without the league title.

Ironically, both teams are hoping for each other’s fortunes this season. Image Credit: SIPA USA/ PA Images

 These and perhaps more upsets, are what we are gearing forward to deducing from the curtain raiser that awaits us on Sunday. Pinch yourself, the wait is finally over, the football season is back. 

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
August 2, 2019
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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