You can read the thoughts of a Chelsea fan here.
The time to play the Community Shield finally arrives, the curtain raiser for the new season, Manchester United play Chelsea for the Shield at Wembley on Sunday. Both teams went into the summer after a hard fought title challenge that Chelsea won in the final game of the season. Now, with the World Cup over and both teams done with their Pre-Season preparations, it’s an excellent chance for both to set the bar for the rest of the title challengers.
Though Sir Alex has said he considers this game a chance for some players to build up their fitness, it can be certain United will be going after a win. Last Time United won the Community Shield they went on to pick up the Premier league title for the 3rd time in a row. United do have some Injuries in the squad to contend with, but have enough cover in all the respective positions.
Man United come into this game after a pretty good pre-season tour. Many of the youngsters got a chance to show their skills, and one of them, Tom Cleverley did enough to convince Sir Alex that he deserves a chance this season rather than be loaned out. Others like Federico Macheda, Gabriel Obertan, Ritchie De Laet and Fabio da Silva also impressed on the tour and will certainly get more chances with the first team in the coming months. New signings Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling also made their debuts with Hernandez clearly stealing the show as he became the hottest topic for all United fans around the world – having scored 3 goals in 3 appearances so far. Things look very promising for the Mexican starlet. Chris Smalling also did his cause no harm, putting in some solid displays at the back, clearly indicating his vast potential.
United are going into this Sunday’s showdown without Patrice Evra, who’s been given an extra week off, Gabriel Obertan and Michael Carrick, are both out with ankle Injuries, while Rio Ferdinand is still a long way from being fit. Michael Owen made a successful return from his long lay-off with a goal against the Airtricity XI and looks set for some game time against Chelsea. Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Antonio Valencia and Park Ji-Sung are slowly getting back to full fitness and should feature in the game too. The Da Silva twins are both suffering from food poisoning and look doubtful for the game. Though, both twins plus Carrick took full part in the open training session at Old Trafford at Saturday.
United have plenty of options in attack and midfield, but the full back positions looks a bit suspect at the moment with Evra, Neville and perhaps the Da Silva’s out, but John O’shea and Wes Brown are more than good enough to cover the positions at the moment. Ritchie De Laet is waiting in the wings for a chance to prove himself if needed. United will most likely start with Sir Alex’s favourite 4-4-2 formation, with Van Der Sar in goal.
Predicted Starting Lineup: Van Der Sar; Brown, Vidic, Evans, O’Shea/Fabio; Valencia, Scholes/Gibson, Fletcher, Nani; Berbatov, Rooney;
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