Date:30th July 2022 at 10:56am
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The English football season kicks off this weekend with plenty of action across the Football League, including a full programme of Championship, League One and League Two fixtures. 

On Saturday afternoon, the first competitive fixture involving top flight sides takes place, with Manchester City facing Liverpool in the Community Shield.

The two sides have dominated the Premier League in recent years, winning all of the last five titles between them, and they are set to renew their rivalry once again at Wembley.

There could be some new faces on show during the match, with both sides having signed new arrivals this summer.

Here, we take a look at the XI that Pep Guardiola could select for the match.

Goalkeeper

First choice ‘keeper Ederson will likely get his season underway at Wembley. The Brazilian has been sensational for City since joining the club in 2017, and will expect to once again be involved in the race for the Premier League’s golden glove award this term.

Defenders

Guardiola will be without Oleksandr Zinchenko after the Ukrainian’s move to Arsenal, and that leaves Joao Cancelo as the club’s only recognised left-back at present. The Portuguese has been handed the number seven shirt this term and, while naturally a right-back, will likely spend a lot of time on the opposite flank unless a new left-back is recruited.

Walker is in line to start against Liverpool

In the middle, Aymeric Laporte is set to be City’s only absentee for the game. Fellow centre-back Ruben Dias is also believed to be short of full fitness, meaning that John Stones and Nathan Ake will most likely line up at the back. The latter looked close to leaving The Etihad earlier this summer, but could now play a bigger role than expected for City in the early weeks of the season with Guardiola facing injury problems.

On the right, Kyle Walker will start with little competition for his place.

Midfielders

Guardiola could opt to give Kalvin Phillips his competitive City debut, but it is more likely that he will instead deploy Rodri at the base of midfield. Despite Phillips’ arrival, the Spaniard will expect to remain first choice in the role.

De Bruyne has looked impressive in pre-season

Ahead of him, Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne will most likely start ahead of Ilkay Gundogan. De Bruyne netted twice against Club America in pre-season, while both Silva and Gundogan have been linked with exits. Phil Foden could be another option in midfield.

Forwards

Up front, all eyes will be on Erling Haaland who will expect to make his debut for City. The Norwegian arrives in England with huge expectations on his shoulders, and will be keen to hit the ground running by netting at Wembley. Fellow new arrival Julian Alvarez will likely be on the bench but will expect to feature at some point.

Haaland is in line for his Man City debut

Either side of Haaland, Jack Grealish will most likely start on the left in the absence of Raheem Sterling who has joined Chelsea. The Englishman’s first season with City was relatively underwhelming, but he will be hoping to improve this term with more playing time likely.

On the other flank, Riyad Mahrez is the most likely candidate to start, although Phil Foden could also be used in the front three.

There will be plenty of interest in the match as the Premier League’s two best sides go head-to-head, and with silverware on offer both Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly be intent on lifting the trophy at the end of the match.

Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Ake, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish

 
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