All eyes are on the Community Shield this weekend as Liverpool take on Manchester City at 17:00 Saturday afternoon. This will be the first time that the King Power stadium has hosted the Community Shield, however, not the first time Leicester has been chosen as the venue. Back in 1971, Leicester themselves played Liverpool at their then home, Filbert Street. The match ended with the Foxes, who were Division Two champions, claiming a 1-0 victory. The club were invited to play in this match due to Division One winners Arsenal being contracted to a pre-season fixture that clashed with the selected dates!
Anyway, enough of the history lesson and onto the real stuff!
This fierce rivalry between two of England’s heavyweights is all set to be a very entertaining affair. Neither team has dominated this fixture when the teams have met in recent times but one thing there has been a trend in, is the amount of goals scored. In the last 5 meetings head to head, both teams have managed to get on the scoresheet with over 3.5 goals landing in 4 of these matches. It’s hard to imagine anything but an open game here. There’s likely to be a high number of chances created at both ends of the pitch in this one and an opportunity for either side to put down an early season marker and add some silverware to their trophy cabinet.
FA Community Shield 2022 Hot Shot Tips
Luis Diaz to have 1+ Shots on Target
Since joining the Reds back in January, Luis Diaz has taken to English Football like a duck to water. The tricky winger has forced his way into this already established side with a number of magical performances last season. The forward has dazzled in front of goal, scoring six times since the turn of the year and has further enhanced Liverpool’s strike force. With Sadio Mane departing to Bayern this summer window, we are likely to see him heavily involved on Saturday and beyond. The Colombian has featured in all 4 of Liverpool’s pre-season fixtures thus far, gaining valuable minutes in each game in preparation for this opening fixture.
The statistics certainly show us just how much of an impact he has had. The Colombian managed at least 1 shot on target in 9 of the final 12 matches in all competitions last season, a 75% success rate for this particular bet. The winger also had multiple shots on target within these games, as well as scoring 3 goals, which shows just how strong his attacking output is.
In the Premier League, we have seen Diaz average 2.9 shots per game, an excellent return. One of the reasons behind this is that Liverpool set up with a 4-3-3 formation with inverted wingers, this allows both wide players the freedom to cut in on their favoured foot in the final third of the field. In return, we are likely to see the South American shooting from not just inside the penalty area but to expect efforts on goal from distance too, leading to a higher probability of a shot on target here.
Joao Cancelo or Kyle Walker could well be the man standing in his way on Saturday afternoon. We are all well aware of ‘Pep Roulette’ as avid Fantasy Football players will know, as he often tinkers with his line-up. The Portuguese defender is excellent in an attacking sense; however, up against a top class player in Diaz, this will be a huge test for him defensively. I do feel if Guardiola decides to go with Walker, then Diaz will find it slightly tougher against this opponent. We have seen the winger complete 2.91 dribbles per 90 minutes last season, sitting him in the top 92% of players in this position. Therefore, with his 63% dribbling success rate, I am anticipating opportunities for him to get in behind the City defence and create plenty of shooting opportunities for himself here.
Joel Matip OR Virgil van Dijk to have 1+ Shot
First of all, this is the most likely centre back pairing for the clash on Saturday. Liverpool travelled to Salzburg midweek and we saw both given a half an hour run out by Klopp in preparation for this match in mind.
This is possibly the strongest central defensive partnership in world football; Matip and Van Dijk are a formidable duo. Not just in their defensive positions but in attacking positions too, most threatening from set pieces. Last season saw Liverpool average 7.5 corners per game, the second highest in the league. This is certainly where I can see either of the centre backs being on the end of a cross into the box. Between the pair they hit a combined 92 shots (52 VDV/40 Matip) in all competitions, a hefty amount for any defender. All we need here is the player to attempt a shot for the bet to land. The most likely way we will see this happen is by winning an aerial duel in the box. The pair ranked 6th and 7th highest individually in aerial duels won last season. Both players stand at over 6ft tall and the towering defenders have every chance to attempt a shot from these situations within the game.
In addition to this, there are likely to be other shooting opportunities for the pair too, any knock down or ball that may fall to them in the box may be struck as a shot. This is always entirely possible, especially from the aforementioned set piece positions.
We also saw Virgil Van Dijk attempt 3 long range efforts in the previous campaign and he is not shy of a shot from distance. Of course, the likeliness is that these efforts will not trouble Ederson but that’s not what we’re worried about here. As long as there is an attempted shot, whether the shot may be blocked or fly into Row Z this won’t matter to us. This reasoning further cements the Dutchman’s chances of a shot during the 90 minutes play.
Joao Cancelo to have 2+ Shots
The Citizens will have had nearly a full week’s rest before taking to the field on Saturday. The club travelled back from Wisconsin after a 1-0 success against Bayern Munich at Lambeau Field last weekend. Cancelo played a full 90 minutes here, as well as gaining 45 minutes of football in the other preseason fixture played a few days before against Club America. The Portuguese full back will be raring to go and has interestingly also been given the number 7 shirt. This suggests he may well play even further forward throughout this forthcoming campaign.
Of course Manchester City has serious offensive threats from their strikers and midfielders. Nevertheless, I am looking at full back Joao Cancelo who had some sensational attacking statistics last season and I am fully expecting this to continue. In the entirety of the 21/22 campaign, the defender racked up a gargantuan 81 shots, the 12th highest of all players. To give some context to this statistic, the Portuguese defender had more shots than the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Jarrod Bowen and Mason Mount. With this simply incredible stat in mind I cannot look beyond this value price of 17/10 for Cancelo to have 2 shots or more in this match.
The defender loves to bomb on down either flank and we have already seen Cancelo shoot from all sorts of positions on the field of play. The attacking full back often pops up both in the box, as well as outside it and is likely to be in varied shooting positions once again. This will allow him the chance to pull the trigger as he often finds himself in unusual positions for a left or right back.
To top this all off, Cancelo hit 2+ shots in 61% of his matches last season in the Premier League. Over and above this, he had 2+ shots in 6 of the last 7 league games which definitely gives us reason to believe he can do this once again here.
Erling Haaland 1+ to have Shots on Target
Summer signing Erling Haaland has been brought into the fold for one main reason and that is to score goals. The 22 year old has been a goal scoring phenomenon at both international and club level ever since bursting onto the scene. At his two most recent clubs, the Norwegian scored 17 goals in 16 games at RB Salzburg and 62 goals in 67 games at Borussia Dortmund, an incredible return. He even got off the mark in the only 45 minutes we have seen of him in a City shirt, in last weekend’s friendly match. I am backing the striker to hit the ground running and all we are looking for is 1 or more shot on target from the goal machine.
The big team news surrounding this game is that Allison will miss out due to injury for the Merseyside club. Klopp confirmed the news on Thursday of this week and the goalkeeper will definitely miss the match. They are also highly likely to be missing their back up in Caoimhin Kelleher who has struggled with injury in pre-season; therefore Adrian is in line to start here. With this team news in mind, this gives even more reason to believe Haaland can pounce in front of goal. Although he is up against Van Dijk and Matip, there is reason to believe the striker will be looking to shoot on sight whenever the opportunity arises, to test the Spaniard in goal.
The forward will likely be playing as a lone striker, therefore when City are attacking, there is a distinct possibility they will be finding Haaland on each occasion. This is likely to lead to a number of shooting opportunities, and in terms of ‘big’ chances created; Kevin De Bruyne had 16 of these last term and Phil Foden, 11 – in the Premier League. When the star studded City side are in full flow, they can often be unstoppable even against the world’s best. With this sort of statistic in mind, I find it hard to envisage Haaland not having ample opportunity to achieve a shot on target.
The striker is far from one dimensional, he has scored goals from headers, outside the box, as well as the majority coming from inside the area. Last season, Haaland featured in 30 matches in all competitions for Dortmund, in which he had 48 shots on target, an average of 1.6 SoT’s per game. For the selection of Haaland 1+ shot on target here we aren’t even worried about him getting on the scoresheet. There is every chance he will do so but just by testing Adrian in goal will see this selection over the line.
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Liverpool v Man City Predicted Line-ups
Liverpool predicted XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Diaz
Man City predicted XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish
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* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *
How to watch Liverpool v Man City in the FA Community Shield?
📅 When is the FA Community Shield? / Saturday, 30th July 2022, 17:00
🏟 Where is the FA Community Shield? / King Power Stadium (Leicester)
📺 What TV channel is the FA Community Shield on? / ITV/STV
🟨 …And who is the referee for the FA Community Shield? / Craig Pawson 🏴