Manchester United players lift the English Community Shield trophy after defeating Chelsea last season.

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Yet another Manchester derby is set to unfold, this time in the FA Community Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser for the English top-flight season.

Wembley will be witness to the very first battle of the season, with Manchester United and Manchester City, both sure contenders for the Premier League title, looking to send out an early message to the other and seize the psychological advantage.

It is a particularly important season for Manchester City. Last season saw the "noisy neighbours" end the trophy drought, beating United in the semis and Stoke City in the final of the FA Cup, while securing a Champions League spot. This season, they are expected to pose a real threat for the Premiership, given their squad-strengthening process during the summer backed by financial superiority over every other club.

City have already signed the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic, while manager Roberto Mancini was quoted as saying that he would attempt to sign three more players. However, the pressure is also high due to the high sums of money spent, and Mancini will look to send out an early warning to his team's rivals.

United themselves had a very active summer, wherein they splashed over £50 million in securing David De Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young. Wesley Sneijder is also linked with a move to Old Trafford, replacing the retired Paul Scholes.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson deployed a full-strength squad for Scholes' testimonial on Friday, implying that he doesn't consider the 'Charity Shield', as it was formerly known, important. However, Wayne Rooney recently urged his United side to "start the season with a bang" and a performance here will send out a timely warning to the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and even Liverpool.

Though only seven of the 19 Shield winners have gone on to win the big one, the Premier League title, a win here will give them the psychological advantage which will play its part in the early stages of the season.

Team News

Manchester City's latest signing Sergio Aguero is set to be on the bench as he has only just recovered from blistered feet. However, fellow new arrivals Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic are set to feature. Carlos Tevez is still on holiday, although his intention to move away from City is well known.

Manchester United will be without Michael Carrick, who picked up a Achilles problem in Edwin Van der Sar's testimonial on Wednesday, while Javier Hernandez is out till the end of August after sustaining a concussion in pre-season training.

Match Fact

The last time the two sides met in the season-opener, then known as Charity Shield, United emerged as 1-0 victors after a goal from Dennis Viollet gave them the win at City's then ground - Maine Road. 


With Sir Alex considering this as another friendly, he will not start with many of the squad who played in Paul Scholes' testimonial, giving City the chance to grasp the upperhand. A 2-1 win to Man City looks likely.