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Media Watch

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Media Watch: Owen backs City for PL hat-trick

MEDIA WATCH: What's making headlines today?

MEDIA WATCH: What's making headlines today?

It's the Final Countdown...

As the clock ticks down to kick-off for today's Community Shield clash - the traditional season curtain-raiser - the excitement builds as the Premier League Champions and runners-up prepare to lock horns once again.

READ: Claudio Bravo eyeing fresh start

WATCH: Community Shield | KDB and Bernardo are ready!

GALLERY: City head to Wembley

CITY 125 KIT: Register your interest

A solitary point separated the two sides in last season's topsy-turvy, thrilling title race and the footballing world have been licking their lips in anticipation for this afternoon's encounter.

The headlines are packed with previews, predictions and opinions, ahead of the game, and there are also a few snippets of transfer gossip with the closure of the summer window also edging nearer.

Without further ado, let's dive in...

View from the opposition

Liverpool FC: Jurgen Klopp: We made big steps in Evian - and we'll be ready for City

Jurgen Klopp: “City had a similar situation to us [in pre-season], a lot of players were not involved; it’s still a very good side together, to be honest.

Aguero is back since this week, a couple of Brazilians – I heard, I don’t know exactly – and Fernandinho are not back yet. They played a good pre-season, I would say, good games – much less than we did, I think only four games, so it’s different.

“But at the end that’s all not important, you have to be ready on Sunday, both of us. And how everybody knows, if you defend not on your highest level it could be difficult, even more difficult.

AGUEROOOOO: Sergio Aguero netted a belter against Liverpool in the crucial 2018/19 clash

Features

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City v Liverpool: The rivalry revisited

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“You have no clue which line-up they will choose. I don’t think they have any clue which line-up we will choose. Of course, you can take their last game in Japan as a little information.

“They have quite a few options and I have really no idea, that makes it completely different. It’s always like that at the beginning of the season; so next week against Norwich we have no idea which team they will play probably. That’s normal, that’s not really special.

“But because we are pretty much focused on the ball, it’s not too important who has it. The only difference is, if a City player has the ball, they do a lot of good stuff with it so we have to be spot on, 100 per cent.”


Opinion

Daily Star: How Man City are expected to line-up vs Liverpool in Community Shield

Colin Harvey: “Pep Guardiola has made no secret that he wants to win the Community Shield but might still rest a few players after a long summer of international action.

Ederson, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho all played for the victorious Brazil in the Copa America with the latter carrying a knee injury through much of the tournament.

“Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi recently returned to training following their appearances for Argentina.

Riyad Mahrez won’t feature after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria.

Claudio Bravo is expected to continue in goal in place of Ederson with Kyle Walker, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Oleksandr Zinchenko making up the back four with Benjamin Mendy still injured.

Rodri will come in for Fernandinho in the base of midfield with Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva providing the creativity.

Leroy Sane should start on the left, despite serious interest from German champions Bayern Munich, with Bernanrdo Silva on the right.

Raheem Sterling has led the line all through pre-season in Aguero’s absence and will do so again today before making way for the City legend for the first Premier League game next weekend.”

Interviews

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Guardiola hails ‘incredible’ City squad

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Manchester Evening News: Pep Guardiola can send Liverpool FC warning in Community Shield clash

Charlotte Duncker: “As Pep Guardiola pointed out on Friday Manchester City's pre-season starts now. After lauding Yokohama as City's toughest opponents the game at Wembley on Sunday will be City's biggest test so far as they prepare themselves for the new campaign.

“Liverpool themselves have had a poor pre-season losing four and winning just one of their five games ahead of the new campaign but will provide a bigger test to City than any of their tour opponents.

“The season curtain raiser at Wembley gives both teams the chance to lay down a marker ahead of the new season and an early opportunity for some more silverware for Guardiola.

“City were very impressive at points on tour and Kevin de Bruyne is in fine form. The Premier League champions have an early chance to send a warning to Jurgen Klopp's side and the rest of the Premier League as they look to win the title for the third season on the spin.”

Football Transfer Tavern: Michael Owen tips Pep Guardiola’s men to secure hat-trick of titles

Michael Owen: “They remain the team to beat, although they picked up a meagre 98 points last season compared to their century in the previous campaign!

“Champions League winners Liverpool look set again to be the main challengers to City as they continue their search for a, hitherto, elusive PL title.

“The Reds played their part in a magnificent title race last season and they are sure to have their supporters as they bid to go one better, but I just favour City in what looks a virtual match between these two great sides.”


Transfer gossip

Daily Express: Man City boss Pep Guardiola eyes Harry Maguire alternative as Isco transfer considered

Neil Fissler: “Pep Guardiola is weighing up making transfer deadline busting moves for Real Madrid midfielder Isco and AFC Bournemouth central defender Nathan Ake.

“The Manchester City boss has been interested in the Spanish international all summer but has been in no hurry to pull the trigger on the move.

“Real Madrid are keen to offload Isco, 27, to balance the books as a heavy summer re-building programme and he is a player Zinedine Zidane is willing to lose.

PEP TALK: The boss discussed transfers in his press conference ahead of the Community Shield.

Interviews

Video

Guardiola hints at further transfer activity

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“Guardiola has been looking to strengthen his defence but pulled out of the bidding for Harry Maguire early on scared off by Leicester City’s valuation.

“Ake, 24, who also interests Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur is a player that City have been keeping tabs on since last season.

“And they wouldn’t have any problems matching the £40million valuation that it would take to persuade Bournemouth to sell one of their most prized assets.”

 

Sports Mole: Manchester City 'on verge of striking Joao Cancelo deal'

Matt Law: “Manchester City are reportedly nearing an agreement with Juventus for Portuguese right-back Joao Cancelo.

“The Citizens are widely expected to bring a new right-sided defender to the Etihad Stadium before this summer's transfer window closes to provide competition for Kyle Walker.

“Cancelo has been linked with a move to Pep Guardiola's side over the last couple of months, although Juve were thought to be refusing to budge on their £45.5m valuation.”

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