LIVERPOOL and Manchester City will compete in the season curtain raiser on Saturday as they face off for the Community Shield at the King Power Stadium.
Last season’s Premier League champions City will take on Jurgen Klopp’s FA Cup winners for the first piece of silverware in the 2022/23 campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s men pipped Liverpool to the league title by just one point last season after a thrilling final day saw City come from two goals down to beat Aston Villa 3-2.
The two sides have proven to be formidable rivals for one another over the past five years.
And that becomes even more apparent when you mock up a combined XI between the respective squads.
One of the most difficult decisions when making the team is who goes in between the posts.
Alisson and Ederson both have valid cases for being included – but the Liverpool shot-stopper just gets the nod in our side.
Liverpool dominate most of the back line – notably with their flying full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Virgil van Dijk is also an obvious inclusion and he is partnered in central defence by City’s Ruben Dias.
In midfield, this is when the champions begin to really come into their own.
Liverpool have some very talented players – including Thiago, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Naby Keita.
But there is not any room for them in this team, such is the quality that City possess in the middle of the park.
We have gone for a Pep Guardiola-inspired trio of Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva to control the midfield.
And then – as you can imagine – there are a host of options in the final third.
Sadio Mane’s Anfield departure has done little to reduce Liverpool’s attacking firepower – with Luis Diaz arriving in January and Darwin Nunez this summer.
Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota also remain in Klopp’s squad – but only Mohamed Salah makes it into our combined team.
That is because of the arrival of Norwegian striker Erling Haaland – who is already regarded as one of the best players in the world.
And England star Phil Foden also makes it into the XI narrowly ahead of Diaz for his performances over the past two campaigns.