On Saturday, the 2022 Community Shield is the stage for Liverpool and Manchester City to pick up where they left off a season ago. Yet again, the two sides face off in direct competition with silverware on the line.
The aspirations of both sides for the season far surpass a successful result on Sunday. But, that does not undermine either of the two club’s desire. Not only does this game present another title. The 2022 Community Shield affords both clubs the opportunity to kickstart the upcoming campaign with momentum.
Development of a derby
Only the slimmest of margins separated these two clubs in the previous campaign. One point separated the two in the league. One goal separated the two in the FA Cup semifinals. Clearly, the need to hit the ground running is in the minds of both squads entering Sunday’s fixture.
The Community Shield has no direct bearing on any other competition this season. Still, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola recognize Sunday’s match as a potential springboard. Here, their respective sides can open the season on a positive note. The result and the competition hold little weight on their own. However, a solid performance against their chief rivals in each competition lays significant groundwork in both a loss or a win.
At the close of last season, both clubs fell to Real Madrid in the Champions League. On the final matchday of the Premier League, City overturned a 2-0 deficit to clinch a fourth EPL crown in the last five seasons. Expect both sides to pick up directly from that spot in the 2022 Community Shield.
In recent seasons, Liverpool’s experience of coming up just short fueled success in the following seasons. It is more than likely that Liverpool’s revenge is the key attitude for the Reds at Wembley.
At the same time, Manchester City is still left hungry despite winning yet another Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s ambitious nature as a coach mandates perfection. That starts in the 2022 Community Shield.
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Preparing for the 2022 Community Shield
The signings from both sides are well suited to the demands at their new clubs. Erling Haaland’s arrival provides City with a top-class center forward and with all the creative talent at the club, he has everything he’ll need to excel. To match, Liverpool added a quality striker of its own to its ranks. Darwin Núñez does not carry the same reputation as his sky-blue counterpart. Yet, his pace and work rate complement Klopp’s system well. The price tag he arrived on does come with the stigma of added pressure, as does the always-present competition at Liverpool.
The profile of the two forwards, however, has seen other strong signings at both clubs go under the radar. Following Fernandinho’s departure, City boosted its midfield with the addition of Kalvin Phillips from Leeds. Promising youngster Julian Alvarez offers more depth up top. The Reds have been just as active. Liverpool secured the services of exciting teenagers Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay to strengthen options in midfield and at right-back, respectively.
While some of the faces this weekend will be new, the intense competitiveness between their clubs will be anything but throughout the season. Those new faces can expect to get a real feel for that on Sunday.
PHOTO: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images
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