Sunday, August 07, 2011

Shield: United likely to stuggle against City at Wembley....

Manchester United face neighbours Manchester City at Wembley later today in the Community Shield. Ahead of the game, Roberto Mancini has done his best to put the pressure on his opposite number by claiming United will be the favourites. For his part, Ferguson said the game has no real significance, but the United manager admitted no one likes to lose at Wembley and that it is an important marker for the big Premier League big kick-off the following weekend.

Ferguson was absolutely right, the fans will not enjoy the spectacle of seeing United lose to City at Wembley on consecutive visits. City could be far too strong for United, who will be without Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher in midfield. As a result, United will have a makeshift midfield, one that is likely to consist of Tom Cleverley and defender Phil Jones.

The battle for control always rests in midfield, and it is in this very important area that United will struggle. City's David Silva was the shining star in Dublin last weekend with the Spaniard pulling the strings against Inter Milan, who were made to look very ordinary. City ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Inter Milan and  it could quite easily have been five or six. If City can reproduce a similar performance at Wembley today, there will only be one winner and sadly, it will not be United.

If United do go on to lose, and convincingly so, then it might force the club's money men to seal the much talked about Wesley Sneijder transfer and if that happens partly as a result of a poor Wembley showing against City, then it will at least make the pain easier to bear.

Weekend reports in Gazetta Dello Sport claimed that City were about to scupper United's hopes of signing Sneijder, but those claims have been rejected, but it remains to be seen if the Dutchman will join the champions.

In other news, the Sunday Mirror claims the Glazer family could be about to sell up to 25% of Manchester United on the stock market. This news is likely to be welcomed by supporter groups as it will lead to more transparency.

Finally, Gabriel Obertan is set to join Newcastle United having failed to convince the manager and his back-room team about his long term prospects.

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