Premier League champions Manchester City do battle with the current UEFA Champions League winners in English Football’s traditional season opener, with the Spanish manager poised to unleash his superstars against Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Pep Guardiola has a near-full squad to call on when the league champions face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday, with only Fernandinho expected to miss the trip to Wembley.
The former Bayern Munich manager explained that City’s South American and Algerian contingent are unlikely to start Sunday’s game, although they may be introduced from the bench.
“Except Fernandinho, everybody is back,” he said.
“Today arrived the last two: Ederson and Riyad Mahrez and two days ago, Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Gabriel Jesus came back.
“Benjamin Mendy came back two or three days ago. He tried to train with the team. Hopefully, next week he will be with us.
“The physical condition (of the squad) is not the best. We will try to play with players who played minutes in pre-season because they have rhythm and they know the situation.”
“The guys who came back later maybe will have a few minutes. There are more chances of substitutions. I think it will be hot in London.
“Every week, our condition will be better. I think we will play at a high intensity on Sunday – a good level.
“I think soon, we will be at the level – from the way we are training. We know better what we have to do. That helps on the pitch and with physicality.
“This month, we have long weeks to prepare. Pre-season starts really right now. There is one game a week so a lot of training sessions and no injuries.
“We start to look at what we need to fix. Over the month, we will see whether we need to train more, or do other sections less. We will try to win games in that period.”