Manchester City take on Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the 2019/20 season curtain-raiser at Wembley stadium on Sunday 4th August with Pep Guardiola's side looking to retain a trophy for the 3rd time in the club's history.
The two North West based clubs will renew their table-topping rivalry as they vie to lay-down an early season marker in this encounter (currently typing this in Mallorca where it is being billed as the English Super Cup™, so…).
Whilst many will argue that the Charity (Community) Shield is not an actual trophy (until you win it, that is!), Pep Guardiola insisted that his side's trophy haul of the 2018-19 season was indeed a quadruple, with the club backing this claim by launching the 'fourmidables' trophy parade branding. Other fans have settled for referring to last season's accomplishments as a 'modest-yet-never-before-achieved' domestic treble.
Whatever you think of the Charity (Community) Shield, it's a day out at Wembley and the usual first opportunity to get a glance at one or two debutants in a 'competitive' fixture. The match will be nowhere near a sell-out though. The seat-counting brigade will be out in force come matchday so brace yourselves!
This will be City's 12th appearance in the Charity (Community) Shield but just their 4th in this competition at Wembley Stadium. The Blues have won 5 (45.45%) of those previous 11 matches, scoring 17 goals in the process (1.54 gpg) and conceding the same amount in return (17).
This is just the second time that the two clubs have met in a final though, with City winning the last meeting in the League Cup on penalties - thanks to a Willy Caballero penalty saving masterclass (the game ended 1-1 after extra time).
In all competitions, the two sides are meeting for the 183rd time. City have won 47 (25.68%), drawn 46 (25.13%) and lost 89 (48.63%) of the previous 182 encounters. The Blues have scored 238 goals (1.30 gpg) against Liverpool in those matches and have conceded 321 (1.76 gpg). City have failed to score on 56 occasions (30.76%) and have kept the Redmen out just 33 times (18.13%).
This will be Pep Guardiola's 175th match in charge of the Blues.
It is sure to be an experimental line-up that Pep opts to start with - especially with the staggered pre-season return dates of those international stars caught up on summer tournament duties (I think Riyad Mahrez has had about 3 hours off in a season that started around 763 days ago!). Guardiola handed a start to young Phil Foden in last year's final and sent Brahim Diaz & Claudio Gomes on from the bench so you can expect a similar tactic this time around.
If David Silva plays a part, he'll make it into the top 5 Manchester City appearance makers against Liverpool, joining Eric Brook on 20!
It's unlikely he'll get much game time but Sergio Aguero (7) is just 2 goals away from becoming City's joint-top goalscorer against Liverpool in all competitions (9).
City in the Charity Shield
Both Guardiola and Klopp will want to win the game but will downplay its importance for obvious reasons. I guess you can only really categorise its importance after the match itself, and maybe not even until the end of the season itself! Time will tell.