The curtain raiser for the season is upon us!
Liverpool vs. Man City
Last seasons runner up and Champions League winners Liverpool go head to head against Man City Premier League Champions, FA Cup Champions, League Cup Champions, and Community Shield holders on Sunday. Usually the Community Shield is played between the League winners and the FA Cup winners but considering that City won them both last season Liverpool who finished 2nd in the league get the nod. Liverpool have had a shaky pre-season having played 7 friendlies winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 3. Klopp was without his forward line for much of pre-season with Mane and Salah having participated in the Africa Cup of Nations while Firmino took part in the Copa America. City played 4 friendlies in pre-season winning 3 and losing one on penalties to Wolves. Liverpool played against the likes of Napoli, Sevilla, Dortmund in preparation for the season while City’s most notable opponent were Wolves. Liverpool have had a quite summer with Sepp Van De Berg and Harvey Elliot being their only two signings both of whom are youth products. City have also bought two players a right back in Angelino from PSV, and Rodri from Atletico who is a midfielder. This is for all intents and purposes a glorified friendly and the teams should reflect that with several starters on the bench or not playing. Either way it is a good opportunity for the teams to get one over the other at this early stage of the season.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich
Dortmund and Munich go head to head in the curtain raiser for the Bundesliga on Saturday. Dortmund have played four friendlies winning all four of them while Bayern have played 5 winning 3 and losing 2. The teams have made several improvements to their squads over the summer. Dortmund have bought Hummels back from Bayern, Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt, and Nico Schulz. Bayern have bought Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Jann-Fiete Arp, and Marco Friedl. The likes of Ribery and Robben left the club in June. Dortmund were rampant until December last season but suffered a burnout in the new year and Bayern who were resurgent edged Dortmund to the title. Dortmund have since added several quality players while Bayern are far more youthful as well. This should be a feisty encounter.
Trophee Des Champions
Paris Saint Germain vs. Rennes
The ever dominant PSG take on Rennes in the prelude to the Ligue 1 season on Saturday. They Neymar saga and whether he leaves for Barca has dominated PSG’s transfer stories but there have been arrivals. Idrissa Gueye, Abdou Diallo, Pablo Sarabia, and Ander Herrera have all been notable players to arrive over the last few months. Rennes most notable arrival has been M’baye Niang. PSG have played 4 friendlies winning 2 drawing 1 and losing 1. Rennes have played 3 friendlies losing 2 and drawing 1. PSG are the dominant force in french football but Rennes did beat them in the Coupe De France final and so it is all to play for.