August 11, 2013; 14:00 BST
For many it might just be a glorified friendly, but try telling that to the football fans who have waited for nearly three months for some competitive action. This also represents the first opportunity for David Moyes to lift a trophy as a Manchester United manager, which if he does, will help in settling a lot of nerves. Similarly, Owen Coyle will also try and make his mark at his new club Wigan, having replaced Roberto Martinez at the helm.
The last time these two clubs meet was on the first day of this year. United thrashed Wigan 4-0, in what turned out to be the perfect birthday present for Sir Alex Ferguson. But this time, both the clubs have new managers in charge. While none can be compared to Sir Alex, former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has also left his imprint permanently on the Latics. Both of the departing managers managed to win trophies in their final season. The Premier League and the FA Cup seems like a parting gift from the duo, to their respective fans. Now both these clubs, under new management, entering a new era in their history, will go head to head today for the FA Community Shield.
Team News and Tactics
Manchester United are coming into this game on the back of a fairly disappointing pre-season campaign. United have won just once (5-2 victory over Kitchee) in their last six matches. In their last game game against Seville, Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial match, United went down 3-1, although it must be noted that most of the first team players were absent.
Wayne Rooney, whose future has been up for speculations throughout this summer, will miss out this match after failing to recover from a shoulder injury which he picked up during a behind-closed-doors match few days ago. While Ashley and Nani are both set to miss out with groin and ankle injury respectively. Both Evans and Nani limped off during their match against AIK Solna last Tuesday. Darren Fletcher and Nick Powell remains the only long term injury concerns.
Vidic, Rafael, Evra and Robin van Persie, who missed out on Ferdinand’s testimonial match, are set to feature against Wigan at Wembley. Valencia, who scored United’s only goal against Seville, is expected to retain his place in the starting eleven, with Hernandez making an appearance off the bench.
David Moyes has experimented with his tactics in the preseason matches, but is expected to stick to a 4-2-3-1 formation in this game, with Kagawa playing in the hole behind van Persie, while Carrick and Cleverley forms the double pivot in front of the defense.
Probable Starting XI [4-2-3-1] : De Gea(GK); Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Zaha, Kagawa, Valencia; Robin van Persie
Unlike Manchester United, Wigan are coming into this game on the back of a good pre-season campaign. They have won five of their last six matches and have made a bright start to life in the Championship. They won their opening match in the Championship against Barnsley 4-1 – a comprehensive away performance which also saw their new signing Grant Holt get on the scoresheet.
Wigan have had a busy summer since their relegation from the top flight, and it seems manager Owen Coyle have built a strong enough squad to bounce back into the Premier League immediately. New signing James McClean is expected to make his debut for the Latics in this match, while Grant Holt will once again feature upfront. Thomas Rogne will however miss this game with a back problem, while Caldwell and Ivan Ramis remain their long term injury concerns. Marc Antoine-Fortune will start from the bench in this game, while Emmmerson Boyce and Leon Barnett are expected to retain their place in the starting line-up after their impressive performances against Barnsley.
Owen Coyle has made a number of tactical changes to this Wigan side, which normally played with a back-three under former manager Roberto Martinez. Under Coyle, Latics are expected to be more direct in their approach and with Grant Holt upfront, they have a target man capable of holding up play and winning aerial balls.
Wigan are expected to start this game in Coyle’s favored 4-4-1-1 formation. Holt will lead the line with Maloney playing in a free role behind him. McArthur and McCarthy will form the central midfield, while McClean and McManaman will play on the right wing. They would look to drop deep and retain their shape as United are expected to have most of the possession. Wigan will defend with two banks of four, with Holt and Maloney pressing upfront.
Probable Starting XI [4-2-3-1]: Carson(GK); Boyce, Barnett, Perch, Crainey; McManaman, McArthur, McCarthy, McClean; Maloney; Holt
- This year’s Community Shield game marks the first time a club outside the top division features in the curtain raising fixture since 1980
- There have been 18 goals scored in the last four Community Shield games during ‘normal’ time.
- Manchester United have won two and lost none of their last five matches in the Community Fixture, winning two by way of a penalty shoot-out and losing one shoot-out.
- Five of the last six Community Shield matches have seen one of the two competing teams go on to win the Premier League title in that season.
- This match marks the first time Wigan Athletic have appeared in the Community Shield.
Player To Watch Out
Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United)
The former Crystal Palace winger made a big impact in the Championship last season, and is expected to have a similar impact in the Premier League, despite his young age. He has already put in some fantastic performances in the preseason matches for Manchester United, and with Nani’s future up for speculation, one can expect to hear a lot about this name in the upcoming season. This match might turn out to be trailer of what the fans can expect from this exciting youngster.
Manchester United 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Although Wigan currently plays in a division below Manchester United, it will be preposterous to expect that United will run over them. United are far from playing at their best currently, while Wigan are in a good run of form. Moreover, they have already shown that they can cause an upset or two on their way to the famous FA Cup victory last season. Although United’s superior quality on the pitch is expected to take them over the finishing line, they will not be a one sided affair.