Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Community Shield Preview

I think I much prefer calling tomorrow's match the Charity Shield rather than the Community Shield. I think its pure charity to give us this first match - after we've all been starving for football for a lot of the summer. Tomorrow is a day I've been waiting for since May. Its the Community Shield and the official start to the Premier League season and my boys are playing.

Man United v Chelsea. Who do I think will win? A silly question.

I'm calling a 1-0 to United. Whether or not the first goal will be early in or made by a sub late in the second half - I really can't say.

When VDS broke his finger I remember telling a friend, "We'll be fine on Sunday. Even if Foster isn't up to par or they put Kuszczak in - the Chelsea attack has to get through Rio and Vidic." Of course the universe saw it to take Nemanja Vidic out of commission for the next two weeks with a calf problem. Luckily for the club those are the real only injuries that we're worrying about right now. There are problems with Gary Neville and Wes Brown ( groin and thigh issues, respectably ) but its nothing I'm too concerned with. I mean - as much as I love Neville its not as though we haven't done without him. I'm far more concerned with when Vidic is back.

Despite having some injury problems I'm sure that Man United can bring it home for the third successive year. Remember that we started last season without Rooney and Ronnie and managed to do win the league.

I think United will do well enough scoring on Petr Cech. Michael Owen - or MO7 - was just left off the England national squad for the friendly against Holland next week. I think that might serve as sufficient motivation to see the back of the net. He did really well on tour this summer and I hope he can bring that back and maintain it in league play. I also think Rooney will really want to start the season off with a bang with his new post-Ronnie freedom. I'm guessing that Federico Macheda will probably sub in around 60 min in.

We'll also finally get to see Valencia and Obertan play with the rest of the squad after being left out of the Asia Tour - while Chelsea fans ( and well - me as well ) got to see their new signings in America. I'm really excited for Valencia. I'll give Valencia a start and Obertan a late substitution.

I wouldn't be surprised with a 4-4-2 at the start with a back line of Rio, Evra, O'Shea, and Evans - a midfield of Carrick, Fletch, Nani or Giggsy, and Valencia- and Rooney and Owen up front. Foster in goal. Tosic at some point. Anderson as well?

And what about Chelski? Ancelotti will most likely start with a 4-4-2 formation as well. I expect to see Drogba and Anelka start - both players that I'm thoroughly unimpressed with - along with new signings Sturrage and Zhirkov. ( If you've read EPL Talk this week - and you should have - you'll see that apparently Drogba is the new villain in the league since Ronnie's left - as if he could replace Ronnie in anything. PS - Read EPL Talk. )

While I'm excited for it - remember - it's really more of an exhibition match than anything. It's a nice way to start a season but I really won't put any stock into it as a predictor.

Here's to hoping we don't go to penalties. Again.

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