Liverpool v Manchester City
Saturday 30 July
The Famous Curtain Raiser
We certainly can't say we've been starved of footballing action this summer. The UEFA Nations League rolled on into June, before the Women's European Championships kicked off at the beginning of July, and what's even better, England are currently preparing to appear in a major international final against Germany on Sunday.
Come on you Lionesses.
The day before, however, we will see Liverpool face Manchester City in the Community Shield, moved to Leicester's King Power Stadium due to the magnitude of England's Wembley final.
It probably doesn't help the narrative of this fixture that we've such a big game the following day, but I do not see this one as a glorified friendly, at all.
Both sides have had slightly strange pre-seasons. Not that results matter, but Liverpool were thumped 4-0 by Manchester United in their first outing, lost 1-0 to RB Leipzig in their most recent, and in between, new boy Darwin Nunez - written off already be some - netted four in a 5-0 rout of RB Leipzig.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have only played two games during their tour of the US, with a host of first teamers unable to travel due to COVID regulations.
New poster-boy Erling Haaland - a title he's stripped from Jack Grealish - has only played 45 minutes of first team action as he continues to build up to full fitness. The Norwegian, however, did score the only goal in their 1-0 win over Bayern Munich - obviously.
Big Names Need Important Minutes
Last season, Man City lost 1-0 to Leicester in the Community Sheild, a match in which Pep Guardiola fielded youngsters Cole Palmer and Samuel Edozie, and while Palmer looks to be involved in the first team in 2022-23, my feeling this time around is that both clubs need to provide vital minutes to their biggest stars on Saturday.
For City and Pep, this should present a great opportunity to present some valuable minutes to those first teamers who were left behind - Phil Foden, John Stones and İlkay Gündoğan could all feature, whilst both Haaland and Julián Álvarez look set to share the striker role, potentially vying for a start in next week's Premier League opener at West Ham
Across on Merseyside, Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson is already ruled out, as is Diogo Jota, which should allow Nunez the chance to start, and whether correct or not, he might already have a point to prove to his doubters.
Luis Diaz and Mo Salah will feature as the main forwards spearheading Liverpool's title charge in 2022-23, whilst youngster Fábio Carvalho, signed from Fulham, has impressed through the summer and looks set to be heavily involved this season, hoping for a breakout campaign just like Harvey Elliot enjoyed in 2021-22, injury aside.
Backed Up Betting Angles
Manchester City 2.47/5 come into the match as favourites ahead of Liverpool 2.89/5, this despite Opta telling us the FA Cup winners lifting the Community Shield instead of the Premier League holders in six of the last seven campaigns. The Reds also dumped out the Citizens in the semi-finals of the FA Cup last season, racing to a 3-0 lead before half-time (3-2).
Manchester City, however, did win on the last such occasion the competition was held away from Wembley, beating Chelsea 3-2 at Villa Park in 2012.
On top of this, both sides have scored in each of the last five meetings between Liverpool (9) and Manchester City (11), with 13 goals coming across their three fixtures last season (2-2, 2-2 and 3-2 Liverpool).
Combining those recent numbers into Betfair's Bet Builder market, we must add in both teams to score at 1.625/8. Let's combine that with Mohamed Salah 2.111/10 to either score or assist, who, according to Opta, has had a direct hand in 11 goals in 14 appearances against Man City for Liverpool (7 goals, 4 assists), and Fabinho 5.04/1 to be carded, who has been booked in each of his last four appearances against Manchester City for Liverpool.
All together, we are given odds of just over 14.013/1 for all three legs to land, and remember, a £5 stake on Betfair's Bet Builder on this match (and selected games throughout the season), credits you with another £5 bet on the house to use on another Bet Builder.
Should you wish to build your own combinations ahead of the match, or have a look at what your fellow punters are backing, take a look through the match's Popular Bet Builders, adding to your bet slip in one simple tap.