News From Manchester: Julian Alvarez can use Man City clash with Liverpool FC to dispel Erling Haaland myth – Jack Flintham

He was given plenty of minutes to stretch his legs and get up to speed with his new teammates against both Club America and Bayern Munich. Of course, the Argentine would have liked to have got himself on the scoresheet in either Houston or Green Bay but it was not for the want of trying.

A better touch here or a bit of luck there could have easily seen him get his first goal for Manchester City but it was not to be. Fortunately for a striker, the next game is always just around the corner and it could not be against a better opponent.

Liverpool will no doubt be City's main challengers on all fronts this season. As we have become accustomed to in recent years, Jurgen Klopp's side will push the Blues all the way.

Guardiola will square up against Klopp for the first time in 2022/23 on Saturday in the Community Shield and although it is considered by many to be a glorified friendly, it will still be an opportunity for both teams to show they are up for the fight. Both Liverpool and City have signed high-profile strikers this window but the anticipated Erling Haaland vs Darwin Nunez battle is unlikely to begin in Leicester.

City's strategy with Haaland is a patient one. Priority for the Blues will be to see the Norwegian start at West Ham United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Why would Guardiola risk not getting to that point by starting him at the King Power Stadium? In his expected absence it would make perfect sense to start Alvarez.

The match will be played at the intensity of a Premier League fixture and the 22-year-old has yet to really experience that. Club America were a physical side but it will be a wake-up call for Alvarez when he sees the difference between that and a title rival.

Haaland will not start every game for City this season, that is almost guaranteed, so minutes now for the Argentinian forward will only help both the Blues and Alvarez moving forward. In this relatively pressure-free contest, Alvarez could stake a proper claim for a regular starting place and boost the Blues' squad depth at the same time.