Liverpool and Manchester City will meet this Saturday in the Community Shield at the King Power Stadium in Leicester (6 p.m.). The opportunity for Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola to line up their main recruits of the summer, with scorers Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland.
The bottle doesn’t matter, as long as you’re drunk. Final of the Women’s Euro requires Sunday between England and Germany, Wembley Stadium will not host the spectacular Community Shield between Liverpool and Manchester City this Saturday. Rather than the London setting, the Reds and the Citizens will therefore be opposed to Leicester (6 p.m.).
Respectively deprived of Alisson Becker and Aymeric Laporte, Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola can however count on the highly publicized and talented Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland recruited this summer by the winner of the FA Cup and the Premier League.
Two big transfers of the summer
Announced as one of the future stars of football since he revealed himself with Salzburg, Erling Haaland kept the pace during his time in the Bundesliga in Dortmund. Having become too big for the BVB, the Norwegian has been the subject of an assiduous court on the part of the biggest European clubs. Announced at Bayern, Barcelona, PSG or even Real Madrid, Erling Haaland finally joined Pep Guardiola’s armada at Manchester City.
Like his father before him, between 2000 and 2003, “The Cyborg” will therefore dress in blue in the Premier League. All for 60 million euros. Only 60M€ one might think as the rating of the 22-year-old striker has climbed for two seasons.
Revealed more recently to the general public, the consequence of his good performances in the Champions League, Darwin Nunez finally cost more than his Norwegian rival. At 23, the Uruguayan saw Liverpool pay around 100 million euros (including 20 million euros in the form of bonuses) to snatch him from Benfica Lisbon.
Two different profiles but similar efficiency
Interviewed by former footballer Jan Aage Fjortoft for the Norwegian media Viaplay Fotball, Jürgen Klopp used humor when comparing the two young scorers. “One is left-handed, the other is right-handed, dropped the Reds coach before laughing. One comes from Norway, the other from Uruguay, there are big differences.”
Beyond the jokes of the German technician, Erling Haaland above all has different footballing qualities. With his colossal looks, the Manchester City star seems capable of staggering all the defenders in the world. In the aerial field, his relaxation works wonders. Technically comfortable despite his size, the Scandinavian participates without problem in the creation of actions when he picks up to pick up the ball.
Probably a little more lively than Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez has a nice burst of speed. Still perfectible technically, the South American compensates with a very big activity. Both in return and in the back of the defense, the new recruit of the Reds has a style that can even quickly seduce the supporters massed in the stands of Anfield.
But if Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez have different styles of play, they come together with great efficiency in front of goal. The two new Premier League phenoms are off to a remarkable 2021-2022 season. Despite the physical glitches, ‘The Cyborg’ has planted 29 goals (plus 8 assists) in just 30 appearances for Dortmund. Author of 34 pawns in 41 appearances in all competitions under the jersey of Benfica, the Uruguayan has nothing to envy him.
Haaland, Pep’s missing piece
Not convinced by Sergio Aguero, yet Manchester City legend, Pep Guardiola did not extend the Argentinian in 2021. During the summer transfer window, the coach with four league titles in five years in England let Gabriel Jesus go. Even if he had recruited the Brazilian in 2017, the Citizens boss never found in him this number 9 capable of participating in the game and finishing the actions without batting an eyelid.
By recruiting Erling Haaland this summer, Pep Guardiola hopes to have found this rare pearl, this missing link at the forefront of his team. With the Norwegian in the workforce, it seems unimaginable to see the Catalan coach leave him on the bench for a Champions League final as was the case with Gabriel Jesus in 2021. Aware of the expectations placed on him, “The Cyborg” 22-year-old is eager to start competing with the Skybkues.
“I’ve always watched Manchester City and I’ve loved doing it in recent seasons. We can only admire their style of play, it’s exciting, notably launched the striker when he signed. They create a lot chances (scoring), which is perfect for a player like me.” And despite the lack of automation, Erling Haaland has already offered a prestigious victory (1-0) in a friendly on his debut against Bayern. The former Dortmund must have appreciated. Manchester City fans and especially Pep Guardiola even more so.
Nunez to make people forget Mané
Despite the sum invested for his transfer, Darwin Nunez may not have the same role on the Liverpool side. Recruited to anticipate the departure of Sadio Mané at Bayern, the Uruguayan will not be the star of the Reds. Like the Senegalese before him, it is within a fabulous trio that he will have to shine, and make his friends Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah shine.
The Egyptian even wished him the best after his recruitment: “I’m excited, I really want to play alongside Darwin. […] Sadio is gone and I will miss him, he had great seasons at the club, I wish him the best. As I wish Darwin and I hope he scores a lot of goals in Liverpool.”
No sooner said than done. During the summer preparation, Darwin Nunez slammed a quadruple in the card (5-0) against Leipzig in a friendly. All in just 45 minutes. But despite this great summer success, he will above all have to shine in an official match to put Liverpool fans in his pocket.
The confrontation against Erling Haaland’s Manchester City this Saturday in the Community Shield will give him a great opportunity to make an impression. It’s up to him to seize this chance to launch his English adventure with a trophy. A victory and some Reds supporters will be able to switch to a very real drunkenness this time.