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Talking points ahead of the Community Shield

Manchester City and Liverpool will do battle at Wembley on Sunday.

Premier League champions Manchester City take on Champions League winners Liverpool in the Community Shield (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Premier League champions Manchester City take on Champions League winners Liverpool in the Community Shield (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Manchester City and Liverpool, winners of the Premier League and Champions League respectively, go head-to-head in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.

Here, PA looks at some of the issues surrounding the match.

Chance for Sane to shine

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Manchester City’s Leroy Sane has a chance to push his claims for more pitch time (Martin Rickett/PA)

The future of the Germany international remains uncertain, although City boss Pep Guardiola insists the player has not asked to leave. The winger wants more game time and has certainly had that in pre-season so this could be his opportunity, on a big stage, to prove his worth.

Early psychological boost

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City striker Sergio Aguero only returned to training on Wednesday (Peter Byrne/PA)

The two teams’ neck-and-neck title race last season was decided by the finest of margins, so any chance to gain an early advantage may help, especially Liverpool who lost just one match and finished with a record points tally for runners-up. With City’s Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Gabriel Jesus having only returned to training on Wednesday following their Copa America exploits, Liverpool have extra motivation, although their pre-season results have been mixed.

Will Klopp go full throttle then?

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Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are unlikely to play a full match (Peter Byrne/PA)

No. Of his international stars manager Jurgen Klopp is only waiting for Sadio Mane, after his run at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, to come back on Monday. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino (30 minutes) and Mohamed Salah (45 minutes) all got their first action in Wednesday’s win over Lyon despite only joining the squad on Monday, so are likely to only get short run outs again. Aside from that it should be Klopp’s first-choice defence and midfield.

Will there be any clues for the start of the Premier League?

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Joel Matip looks like he will get the nod to be Virgil Van Dijk’s centre-back partner (Barrington Combes/PA)

Whom Klopp picks to partner Virgil Van Dijk in central defence will give an idea of who gets the spot against Norwich next Friday. Joel Matip has been preferred over Joe Gomez in pre-season and looks set to continue. Guardiola has more of a balancing act as although all players apart from Fernandinho are available, many are well short in their preparations due to late returns because of international commitments. Oleksandr Zinchenko looks like getting the nod at left-back ahead of Angelino with Benjamin Mendy still injured. New signing and long-term Fernandinho replacement Rodri could make his first start.

PA

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