Guardiola to unleash Erling Haaland on Liverpool in Community Shield showdown

Pep Guardiola will waste no time in unleashing Erling Haaland on bitter rivals Liverpool in Saturday's Community Shield showdown (July 30).

The Manchester City boss has been reluctant to field his strongest side in the fixture in the past, having questioned the significance of a game he believes is not needed in a packed fixture calendar. But Guardiola is determined to beat Jurgen Klopp's side to strike a psychological blow over the team he expects to be his biggest threat when it comes to landing silverware this season.

And Guardiola is expected to name Haaland in his starting XI after telling the Norwegian hotshot he will have a pivotal role to play in the showdown at Leicester's King Power Stadium.

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Guardiola is keen to expose the fact Klopp will be forced to field his third-choice goalkeeper and believes his new £51m signing from Borussia Dortmund is the man to take full advantage.

City, meanwhile, are growing increasingly confident of landing Benfica star Alex Grimaldo in a £17m deal. Arsenal have been leading the chase for the left back, but it's understood Grimaldo favours a move to the Etihad instead and could hand in a transfer request in a bid to force through a move to the English champions.

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City have turned to the Spanish U21 international after finding themselves priced out of a move for Brighton's Marc Cucurella. Etihad bosses are reluctant to meet Brighton's valuation of £50m and view Grimaldo as a suitable alternative.

Guardiola is desperate to land a new left-sided defender after selling Ukrainian international Oleksandr Zinchenko to the Gunners earlier this month.

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