Man City vs Liverpool: Rivalry renewed in Community Shield Liverpool and Manchester City go head to head in the Community Shield on Sunday, but which side is in the best shape ahead of the traditional curtain-raiser? And who will strike the first blow of the new season?
City and Liverpool contested one of the tightest title races in Premier League history last season, finishing on 98 and 97 points respectively. Pep Guardiola’s side claimed a clean sweep of domestic trophies, with Jurgen Klopp’s men clinching Champions League glory over Tottenham in Madrid.
Now, they are preparing to vie for supremacy once more. Will City manage to maintain the relentless pace of last season? Will Liverpool be able to keep up? Sunday’s game at Wembley could provide the first clues Liverpool and Manchester City’s rivalry is not yet at Manchester United-Arsenal 1996-2005 levels, but it certainly adds an extra layer of intrigue to Sunday’s encounter.
The rivalry exploded into life during the 2017/18 season – when the two sides played out four thrilling encounters in the Premier League and Champions League – and intensified during last season’s title race. There is also fierce personal competition between the managers, who previously locked horns with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Germany.
For the most part, however, and unlike Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, Klopp and Guardiola have been complimentary of each other.Guardiola has repeatedly praised Klopp’s Liverpool, saying they pushed City to new heights last season, while Klopp revealed he shared an amicable phone conversation with Guardiola after Liverpool’s Champions League final win over Tottenham in June. “We promised each other that we will kick each other’s butts again next season,” he said.
Klopp’s recent comments on Manchester City’s spending certainly irked Guardiola. The German said Liverpool can’t afford to spend like their rivals because they do not live in a “fantasia land where you get whatever you want”, with Guardiola admitting he was “bothered” by the claim. “Of course I don’t like it because it’s not true,” he said.
Klopp has been eager to emphasise that City are ahead of Liverpool in terms of their pre-season preparations. That’s because by the time Liverpool faced Spurs in the Champions League final on June 1, City were already two weeks into their off-season.Guardiola’s side should therefore be sharper on Sunday, but what of Liverpool? Klopp has played down the significance of their pre-season results, but there was certainly evidence of sluggishness in their defeats to Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Napoli.