Community Shield Preview

Leicester City v Manchester United: Community Shield 2016 preview

The first silverware of the season will be up for grabs when Premier League champions Leicester City take on FA Cup winners Manchester United in the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The Foxes come into the game on the back of a 4-2 friendly defeat to Barcelona while United played out a lacklustre goalless draw in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial game against his former club Everton.

This game has quite a bit of back story to it as the managers of both clubs share quite an interesting history between them. Mourinho replaced Ranieri at the helm of Chelsea back in 2004. However, Ranieri was the one who put the final nail in the coffin of Mourinho’s second stint as Chelsea manager last season.

The Portuguese manager was sacked by the West London club following his side’s defeat to Ranieri’s Leicester City in December of 2015. Sunday’s Charity Shield game will mark the first time these managers will face off against each other following that eventful night.

The Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri claims that he has already forgotten about the heroics of last season and is looking forward to new challenges in the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, Mourinho will begin a new inning in his career following a disastrous campaign with Chelsea last season which eventually cost him his job.

The Foxes haven’t made many trips to Wembley in their history. The last time they travelled to the iconic stadium was back in February 2000 when they defeated Tranmere 2-1 in League Cup. For Ranieri, the occasion will be even rarer as he has never managed a team at Wembley.

The Sunday’s game will be the Foxes’ first appearance in Community Shield since 1971 when they defeated Liverpool 1-0 at Filbert Street. In 71, they were invited to take part as second-tier champions after double-winning Arsenal side pulled out of the tie.

The Red Devils will be making their 30th appearance in the annual fixture. They have won the trophy a record 20 times. They have managed to lift the trophy in five of their last six attempts. United also boast of a decent record at Wembley Stadium in recent past. They have won their last four games at the stadium following their Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in 2011.

This game will mark United’s first appearance in Charity Shield since 2013 when they lifted the trophy in David Moyes’ first game in charge of the club.

Meanwhile, United manager Mourinho has also participated in Community Shield as Chelsea manager on four occasions. He has managed to lift the trophy only on one occasion.

His Chelsea side lost to Arsenal 1-0 in the last year’s edition of Community Shield.

United have lost only one game in their last 15 games against the Foxes in all competitions. Both Premier League fixtures between the two sides last season ended 1-1.

Managers' Opinions

Ranieri has revealed that he has a fully-fit squad to choose from, and he will be lining his best XI against United on Sunday.

The Italian has reassured that his team wouldn’t be taking the game lightly and will do everything in their power to claim yet another silverware.

Claudio Ranieri

"We're ambitious but know it will be very hard," said Ranieri.

"I forgot what happened last season. Now my focus is on the new season."

"All managers and players want to play at Wembley Stadium. It's one of the most famous stadiums in the world," he added.

"This is not a friendly. We will give the maximum and also Manchester United will too. Both teams want to win it."

However, his counterpart Mourinho has bemoaned his team’s pre-season preparations. During United’s pre-season tour of China, club’s game against local rivals Manchester City, on 25 July, was called off due to heavy rain.

The Portuguese manager claims that the China tour has left his team short on match fitness.

"The week of no work in China was really bad for us," said Mourinho. "So we need to train, we need to play, we need minutes for the players.

Mourinho Press confrance

"Now we have no chance to train against other teams. We have Leicester before the Premier League and it is not a training session - it is a game.

"We have to face it as a game. We have the chance to give minutes to some people. Some who I know cannot play for 90 minutes, but of course we are going to try to win it."

About the Community Shield tie, he said: "I think especially for the players that were involved in last season, it must have a meaning. To play in the Community Shield, you need to be champion or you need to win the FA Cup, and they won the FA Cup. Of course, we are going to try to win it."

Transfer News:

Both teams have been busy in the transfer market during the summer and will be lining a number of new signings in the game.

The Red Devils have signed Eric Baily, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the transfer window, and all three players are expected to feature in the game on Sunday.

Ibrahimovic

United are also expected to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus on a world-record deal this summer, but this game will come too soon for the France international.

Mourinho, recently, hinted in a press conference that an arrival of a “very good midfielder” at Old Trafford is imminent. He added that United would try to complete their incoming transfer business by August 14.

Meanwhile, Leicester City have struggled very hard, this summer, to ward off interests from big clubs in their players.

Jamie Vardy was a target of Arsenal, but the Foxes managed to tie him down to a new deal. However, they were not so lucky in the case of N’Golo Kante, who joined Chelsea after just one season with the Foxes.

Last Season’s hero Riyad Mahrez has also been consistently linked with moves to clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but he is expected to play on Sunday.

The Foxes have signed Nampalys Mendy from Nice to replace Kante and striker Ahmed Musa on a club-record deal from CSKA Moscow.

Ahmed Musa

Musa, who scored an impressive brace in the friendly 4-2 defeat to Barcelona earlier this week, promises to be a smart piece of business by the Foxes. He is a real pace-merchant and perfectly fits in the Leicester’s counter-attacking style.

He could prove to be a handful for United defenders on Sunday.

19-year-old winger Bartosz Kapustka has also arrived from Polish club Cracovia Krakow.

Team News:

Ranieri is expected to pick up almost the same starting eleven that he relied upon last season. He could replace Kante in the centre of midfield with Mendy and might start Ahmed Musa alongside Jamie Vardy in his club debut.

Mourinho will likely hand club debuts to new signings Eric Baily, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

This game will be Ibrahimovic’s first club-level appearance at Wembley Stadium.

Leicester City XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs; Albrighton, Drinkwater, Mendy, Mahrez; Musa, Vardy

Manchester United XI: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Carrick; Mkhitaryan, Rooney, Martial; Ibrahimovic

Prediction:

We are backing Manchester United to win the game.

About the Author Moha

Hardcore fun of the beautiful game. Played soccer for different clubs in my country before hanging up my boots. Now writer for My Soccer HQ

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