Today’s Nigeria Football Headlines : Community Shield Preview: Guardiola, Klopp to kick off another close race in England

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have forged a rivalry in England in the last six years, similar to the one between Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, where both managers had unfinished business with each other for almost two decades.

Ahead of the new 2022/23 season, the Community Shield, the 114th edition, will kick start the season between EPL champions Manchester City and FA cup winners Liverpool. City are in the showpiece event for the fourth time in five years while Liverpool are in it for the third time.

The King Power Stadium is the venue with Guardiola chasing a fourth win while Klopp looks for his first triumph. Saturday’s clash will be a repeat of the 2019 game which was decided on penalties and won by Guardiola’s City side.

Klopp, just like Guardiola, is always energetic during games and hardly sits still as he tries to plot a win in a Cup he is yet to win as manager while we will often catch Guardiola rubbing his bald head as he seeks more wisdom to turn the tide in his favour.

Both will start with new No.9s. While City caught the inimitable Erling Haaland, Liverpool have Darwin Nunez. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has declared these are the two best teams in Europe.

Guardiola has spoken about Klopp being his toughest challenge in his last 12-13 years. “Liverpool are the toughest opponent I have ever faced in my 12 or 13 years as a manager.”

Meanwhile, he also said that they have never given the Reds a chance to take a breath. “Hopefully we can say we are a pain in the arse for Liverpool, too.”

And Klopp agrees with Guardiola’s statement. “That’s a good description, and that is how it should be.”

“We are pushing each other and that is how it is and it keeps you going. There is no chance to get a bit soft because the other one will be there immediately to catch you.”

16/04/22 FAC Man City 2 – 3 Liverpool

10/04/22 PRL Man City 2 – 2 Liverpool

03/10/21 PRL Liverpool 2 – 2 Man City

07/02/21 PRL Liverpool 1 – 4 Man City

08/11/20 PRL Man City 1 – 1 Liverpool

While Liverpool were in Asia, Manchester City went to America for the pre-season.

Liverpool recorded two victories and two defeats during their pre-season games. One defeat they faced was a 4-0 drubbing from Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United in the Thailand Cup.

However, Manchester City won all their pre-season games.

Pre-season is usually described as a less competitive game compared to what we will expect today between both competitors.

The last time Liverpool won the trophy was in 2006 after a 2-1 victory over Chelsea. Ever since then, they have failed twice. The first was a 5-4 penalty shootout loss to Manchester City in 2019. The Reds have experienced their second defeat via another penalty shootout to Arsenal in 2020.

City lost last season’s opener to Kelechi Iheanacho’s spot kick in the 87th minute.

Liverpool will be without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. At the same time, the City trio of Phil Foden, John Stones, and Ilkay Gundogan will probably miss out because they did not join their team on their tour of the USA.

“I like the competition, but again here I think it would be possible to find another date.

“It may be because we had a longer season than other teams and now we have a shorter pre-season than other teams, it doesn’t make much sense.

“I think Germany plays the Super Cup final and for that, the teams involved don’t have to play one cup round.

“There are opportunities, obviously, but maybe we can think about that or somebody can think about that. So we have to find a way and we have to try.” – Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool Manager

“I don’t know, I promise you, if I was able to predict the future, I’d let you know. Normally in the Premier League, there are many teams and you expect that.

“Always before I repeat the same, I expect a lot of clubs involved, the quality they all have in terms of managers, players, history. I don’t know.”

“Hopefully not. As soon as they settle, the better. In my feeling, they won’t take time. Stefan surprises us a lot in all aspects of the ball and build-up. Kalvin knows the PL perfectly. The way they settle in the few games we play, I think they will settle.

Not just for them, for the new four players, for Julian and Stefan. It’s a title for all of us. To win it is better, better to start winning than losing. It’s good for City.” – Pep Guardiola, Man. City Manager