The first silverware is on offer… will David Moyes emulate the winning mentality set by his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson or will the club's pre-season form stutter into the upcoming campaign?
By virtue of scalping Manchester City 1-0 in last season's FA Cup, Wigan Athletic — who were eventually relegated from the Premier League into the Championship — are rewarded with an appearance in the traditional curtain-opening game of the season despite beginning their own campaign in England's second tier in a thrilling fashion last week, battering Barnsley by four goals to zip.
Despite slipping out of the top 20 teams in the country, Wigan have plenty to look forward to in the coming season. 'We've got Europe, the League Cup, the FA Cup… every game we're in we'll try to win,' said Latic striker Grant Holt, as reported by the BBC. He continued: 'We're seeing this one [the Community Shield] no differently.'
Holt, 32, scored on his Wigan debut last week versus Barnsley and returned eight Premier League goals for Norwich City last season.
While Holt's mentality is commendable, he and Wigan are up against one of the toughest teams to beat from last season; Manchester United, a club, though, who are yet to secure a transfer of note, are adjusting to David Moyes' managerial style following 27 years of Sir Alex Ferguson, possess one wantaway striker in Wayne Rooney and have had an erratic pre-season.
Competition: FA Community Shield 2013
Date: Sunday, August 11, 14:00 kick-off (local time)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Moyes has, so far, defused any Rooney row, in public at least. The powerful Englishman, though, will not feature on Sunday: 'I don't think he is going to be fit and available. We hope he will be, but | have a feeling he won't make it,' the Scotsman is quoted to have said, adding that injury doubts linger over Johnny Evans and Nani due to respective ankle and groin concerns.
Speaking to Inside United, Moyes declared his trophy ambitions while acknowledging the situation he has inherited from the club's former manager: 'I will be trying to make the Community Shield the first trophy of many but if we win it's really something that will have been earned by Sir Alex. It's because of the his good work in the Premier League last season that we're in the Community Shield.'
While United have been inconsistent throughout their pre-season preparations there have been some positives, namely; the impressive youth banging on the head coaches door for a first-team role such as Adnan Januzaj, Jesse Lingard and Wilfried Zaha. Moyes has primarily used the pre-season as a way of boosting his squad's collective fitness while experimenting with tactics… so he should not be judged on the mixed bag of results earned to date, however, the club's large fanbase will be looking for a statement come Sunday.
Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Smalling, Evra, Zaha, Cleverley, Carrick, Young, Kagawa, Van Persie.
Wigan: Carson, Perch, Barnett, Boyce, Crainey, McCarthy, Watson, Maloney, McArthur, McClean, Holt.
Little known fact…
United boss Moyes and Wigan gaffer Owen Coyle grew up not far from each other in Glasgow. They eventually went on to play against each other when Dunfermline (with Moyes) defeated Airdrie (with Coyle, who scored his side's only goal) on penalties in the League Cup semi-final in 1991.
Ones to watch
United: Wilfried Zaha is an immense talent ready to burst onto the Premier League scene. His form in friendlies throughout the summer will likely have earned him a starting role on Sunday.
Wigan: Irish winger James McClean, one of ten signings Coyle has completed to date, will likely be slotted straight into the Scotsman's first eleven.
Manchester United 3-0 Wigan Athletic
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