Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford sides prepare for Wembley opening battle.
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Chelsea will be Manchester United’s biggest obstacle to winning the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield clash.
“They won the league and FA Cup last year and I do think you have to see the team that won the league as the ones you look at,” said the United manager.
United’s Michael Carrick, Anderson, Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand are out.
Chelsea have named their first XI, with Didier Drogba on the bench but Petr Cech, Alex and Jose Boswinga are out.
Hilario will stand in for Czech goalkeeper Cech for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, with Salomon Kalou, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda in attack.
“I think that the players that came back [from the World Cup] are not 100% fit but they need to play,” said Ancelotti.
“For this reason the Portuguese players and the English players are able to play and I will put them on the pitch on Sunday.”
Meanwhile, Ferguson revealed that England striker Wayne Rooney and former international team-mate Michael Owen will feature during the match.
“Rooney and Owen definitely need to play 45 minutes on Sunday,” said the 68-year-old manager.
Owen suffered a serious hamstring injury on the much-maligned Wembley turf during the League Cup final against Aston Villa last season. It scuppered his hopes of making the England World cup squad.
The 30-year-old striker is hoping he comes away from Sunday’s trip to north London injury free.
“They were there doing something on the pitch when I was at Wembley recently,” Owen said.
“Something new has been installed which means 10% of the turf is now synthetic. Hopefully it makes it better because the Wembley pitch must have had something to do with my injury.” (BBC Sport)
The season curtain raiser promises to be a potentially enthralling affair and a good test of where the two sides are as the Premier League start looms. Both Carlo Ancelotti and Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking to give some of their World Cup performers a good run out and even though the silverware itself represents little the game itself could have a psychological boost for the potential winners as they look for bragging rights.
2009 Community Shield Highlights
Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United (4-1 on Penalties)