On Sunday, August 11 the English Premier League opens with the 2013 Community Shield. Manchester United will take on Wigan Athletic in the classic pre-season opener as the EPL Champions take on the FA Cup winners.
While Manchester United didn’t always play their best football in the 2012-13 season they did more than enough to come away as winners of the EPL. They come into the Community Shield without Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time in 20 years. This will be David Moyes first chance at winning silverware as new manager for Manchester United as well as his first chance for a trophy as a top flight manager.
Manchester United may not have splashed much money in the transfer window thus far, but they are the reigning EPL Champions with most of the same players returning. They have a strong, quality squad that should be able to win on Sunday.
Wigan Athletic was the 2013 FA Cup trophy winners despite also being relegated to the Championship. They had a very bittersweet season in 2012-13 and are hoping to make a quick return to the EPL. With the Championship already starting their season last week Wigan has started out well with a 4-0 win over Barnsley.
Wigan did lose their manager, Roberto Martinez, with Owen Coyle taking over this year. While they have lost a few players, including their top scorer, Arouna Kone, they have also brought in some players including Grant Holt and James McClean.
My prediction for the 2013 Community Shield is a Manchester United win. This will probably be their biggest test of the preseason, but should be a good way to get them ready for the next week’s EPL opening match. I’m predicting a 4-1 win for United with a late goal coming from Wigan.
American based fans can watch the match on Sunday airing on FOX Soccer Channel with coverage starting at 8:30 am EST.
Manchester United: 4-4-1-1
David De Gea; Patrice Evra, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Rafael; Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverly, Ashley Young, Wilfred Zaha; Anderson; Robin van Persie
Anders Lindegaard, Shinji Kagawa, Alexander Buttner, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Javier Hernandez, Antonio Valencia
Wigan Athletic: 4-2-3-1
Scott Carson; Stephen Crainey, Emmerson Boyce, James Perch, Leon Barnett; James McCarthy, Ben Watson, Shaun Maloney, James McArthur, Jean Beausejour; Grant Holt
Subs: Lee Nicholls, Chris McCann, Jordi Gomez, Roger Espinoza, Callum McManaman, James McClean, Marc-Antoine Fortune