Sport

Liverpool ‘may face Leeds within the Neighborhood Defend’

Liverpool could face Leeds in the Community Shield as the FA ‘give green light for Championship winners to replace FA Cup holders’ in annual curtain-raiser as European competitions add to fixture chaos

  • Liverpool could be pitted against Leeds in a revamped Community Shield
  • Late finish of Champions League and Europa League could force a rethink
  • FA could invite the Championship winners to replace the FA Cup holders
  • Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds are second behind West Brom with a game in hand 

Liverpool could be pitted against Leeds in next season’s Community Shield if the FA Cup winners are unable to compete in the Wembley curtain-raiser due to European commitments.

The annual fixture traditionally takes place between the Premier League champions and the holders of the FA Cup.

But the FA could invite the winners of the Championship to compete in their place, according to The Times.

The Community Shield could be played between Premier League and Championship winners

The Community Shield could be played between Premier League and Championship winners

It could see champions Liverpool come up against Leeds, who are second in the Championship

It could see champions Liverpool come up against Leeds, who are second in the Championship

Leeds currently sit second in the Championship, two points behind leaders West Brom, but with a game in hand. 

The two sides last met in the Charity Shield back in 1992, when Leeds were last champions of England. 

Howard Wilkinson’s side were victorious over Graeme Souness’ men that day, with Eric Cantona scoring a hat-trick in a 4-3 thriller.

The hint of a rematch has been raised due to the late finish of this season’s Champions League and Europa League, which is causing havoc with the fixture schedule.

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Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and remain in the hunt for silverware in Europe’s major competitions. 

Eric Cantona hit a hat-trick the last time Leeds and Liverpool faced each other at Wembley

Eric Cantona hit a hat-trick the last time Leeds and Liverpool faced each other at Wembley

Manchester City could be unavailable due to European commitments as fixtures pile up

Manchester City could be unavailable due to European commitments as fixtures pile up

The FA have pencilled in August 23 as a possible date for the game, but that would clash with the rescheduled Champions League final in Lisbon. 

Instead of cancelling the event, they are exploring options for the opponents of Premier League champions Liverpool. 

The FA are also believed to be looking into the feasibility of the game as a test event for the return of fans after the coronavirus lockdown.

There is precedent for different teams to be invited by the FA to take part. 

In 1971, champions of the old Second Division, Leicester, played FA Cup runners-up Liverpool when Double winners Arsenal declined to take party due to previously-arranged friendly commitments.  

West Brom are currently top of the Championship, but Leeds have a game in hand

West Brom are currently top of the Championship, but Leeds have a game in hand

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