Current FA Premier League champions Manchester United and FA Cup winners Manchester City will contest the 2011 FA Community shield, to be played at Wembley Stadium this Sunday August 7th.
17-times Community Shield winners Manchester United will be defending the Shield they won against Chelsea in 2010, against a big-spending City side who last lifted the shield nearly 40 years ago in 1972.
While United collected their record 19th league championship last season, City’s F.A Cup final triumph, their first trophy in 35 years, where they managed to defeat United en route to the final, and third-place finish in the Premier League suggested that honours may soon be more evenly split in Manchester.
With summer departures of important players such as the retiring Edwin Van der Sar and the highly influential Paul Scholes, and the selling of Irish international John O’Shea and Wes Brown to Sunderland, not to mention the release of injury prone midfielder Owen Hargreaves, Sir Alex Ferguson had voids to fill in.
He took out the cheque book to sign Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, England under-21 defender Phil Jones and Aston Villa winger Ashley Young, spending over £50 million.
Last season’s boy wonder Chicharito is out of Sunday’s game with a concussion sustained during the team’s pre season tour of America. Sir Alex is likely to opt for an extra midfielder such as Ji-sung Park, as he tends to do in the big games, with Wayne Rooney being started as a lone striker.
De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Young, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Park, Rooney.
The purchases of defenders Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic, coupled with £40 Million striker Sergio Aguero from Athletico Madrid, as well as Mancini stating he wanted to add another two players to his glittering array of international stars are a serious statement of intent from him and his billionaire employers.
Ireland number one goalkeeper Shay Given has left the club for Aston Villa, midfield general Patrick Vieira has retired and forward Jo has left for Internacional.
Want-away club captain Carlos Tevez will definitely miss Sunday’s game against his former employers after Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini agreed to extend the South American’s summer holiday. With much speculation regarding his whereabouts come the start of the new season Tevez will now return to City next Monday August 8th.
Hart, Lescott, Kompany, Clichy, Richards, De Jong, Barry, Yaya Toure, Silva, Balotelli, Dzeko.
A close encounter with a narrow margin win to either side
For City, the game will be another opportunity to show how far they have come, as a force in English club football. For United, an opportunity to silence the blue side of Manchester and the first chance of revenge for their F.A Cup semi-final defeat thanks to a Yaya Toure goal. The Community Shield does not carry that much importance in the terms of silverware, but the winning team will definitely have a psychological edge over their close neighbours going into the new season and of course the all important Manchester bragging rights.
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