The Community Shield might not be the biggest trophy in world football, but it does at least mean that the new season is almost upon us.
Next weekend, the Reds head to Wembley to face Manchester City in the final game before the Premier League begins, and given the rivalry between the clubs last season, there is some extra spice added ahead of this year’s first edition of the fixture.
According to the Manchester Evening News, City could be missing seven key first team players for the game.
Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson all played as part of the Brazil squad that won the Copa America and are not yet back, while Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi both played for Argentina, who came third.
Riyad Mahrez, like Sadio Mane, played in the Africa Cup of Nations and will also be missing. Finally, French left-back Benjamin Mendy is not expected to return after injury until mid-August.
City have a lot of top players in reserve – like new signing Rodri, for example – but with all those players missing, they will be weakened a bit.
Mo Salah, Alisson and Roberto Firmino will all return to Liverpool’s pre-season training this week after international duty like some of the players above.
They are set to be back early in the week, though, meaning they have a better chance of featuring, with the Lyon match on Wednesday night set to be a good barometer of whether or not they can realistically start down in London at the weekend.