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The FA Community Shield

The FA Community Shield, the annual curtain-raiser before the start of the Premier League season, is the first competitive match of the English footballing calendar.

Ishaan Dutta
Last updated: 04.08.2019
The FA Community Shield | Sports Social Blog

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The FA Community Shield, the annual curtain-raiser before the start of the Premier League season, is the first competitive match of the English footballing calendar, played between the winners of the Premier League and FA Cup in the previous season. This year will see English champions Manchester City take on Liverpool, the Champions League winners, in what promises to be a mouth-watering affair(at least on paper).

 

Here is all you need to know about the match:

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History:

 

This will be the 97th edition of the Shield, to be played at the historic Wembley Stadium. Since City won the domestic treble last season, which included both the league and FA Cup, they will be facing Liverpool, who were runners up in the league. The city is also the current holders, having triumphed 2-0 over Chelsea last time around. However, it is the red side of Manchester, United, who have won the title outright a record 17 times, followed by Arsenal with 14 wins and Liverpool with 10.

 

Rules:


The rules in the Community Shield match differ slightly from the standard Premier League ones. It is still a 90-minute match with 11 players and 7 substitutes. What’s different is that instead of the standard 3 substitutions a team can make in a league match, they are allowed 6 here. Also, there is no extra time, so the game is directly decided by a penalty shootout, in case the teams are locked level after normal time.

 

Status:


Although it is the first official game of the English football season, the importance of the game, in particular, is often downplayed. Managers often do not select their best eleven, to prevent running the risk of losing anyone to injury, so close to the start of the season. Players also are often slack and below their best levels. However, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, being the perfectionists they are, not to mention the rivalry between them, will definitely not adhere to this. It should be a good introduction to the 10-month battle for domestic as well as continental tussle that City and Liverpool will surely have.

 

 

The Match:


The match will be played on Sunday, August 4th, at Wembley Stadium, with Martin Atkinson as the referee.

With City yet to win the Champions League and Liverpool without an English title since 1990, it is possible they would gladly settle for a trophy-swap this season.

Guardiola knows Community Shield holders City could become the first team to win three consecutive Premier League titles since Manchester United between 2006 and 2009, so he won't settle for only targeting European glory. He could start City’s season off with a trophy, however small, which will do wonders for their confidence ahead of the new season. However, Liverpool, who was beaten by just a single point last season, will surely be strong contenders once again. The European champions will have their sights on domestic success, having been without the league in almost 30 years.

The city is expected to have Ederson, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez on the bench after their international exploits at the Copa America and African League of Nations. Youngsters like Phil Foden, as well as the mercurial Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva,  are expected to start.

On the other hand, Liverpool, on the back of a disastrous pre-season, will be looking to bounce back with a trophy win, that too against their main domestic rivals now. They will be without Senegalese star Sadio Mane, who is on rest after the African Cup of Nations, but with Firmino, Alisson and main man Mohamed Salah back, Klopp will want his team to put up a more cohesive and energetic display at Wembley.

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