Its the Community Shield with Man Utd v Wigan as Paddy Power offer free bets and will offer refunds should Robin Van Persie score the last goal of the game.
It was always an unlikely pairing of Manchester United and Wigan will do battle at Wembley on Sunday with the season’s first piece of silverware up for grabs.
New United boss David Moyes get will get an early reminder, if he needed one, of the expectations that surround the club with fans and pundits alike predicting an easy win for the defending Premier League champions.
MAN UTD v WIGAN – FREE BET REFUND
Paddy Power have announced they are offering free bets worth £250 to customers to spend on the Community Shield and will also offer refunds should Robin Van Persie score the last goal of the game! Click here to navigate through to the landing page.
The former Everton manager has of course been to Wembley as recently as 2012 with Everton in the semi-finals of the FA cup but he side lost on that occasion and has never had the opportunity to lift a cup at the famous ground.
Despite the weight of expectation, Moyes is keen to build on the job done by his predecessor Alex Ferguson, acknowledging that his chance of early success is down to the popular Scot.
“Of course I will be trying to make the Community Shield the first trophy of many,” he told Inside United. “But if we win it’s really something that will have been earned by Sir Alex. It’s because of his good work in the Premier League last season that we’re in the Community Shield.”
Despite being named in the England squad, want-away striker Wayne Rooney is unlikely to feature with Moyes confirming that the striker, subject to two failed bids from Chelsea is not fit and available while Jonny Evans and Nani are also struggling to be involved with ankle and groin injuries respectively.
It’s not all doom and gloom however with goalkeeper David de Gea and striker Javier Hernandez likely to be fit for Sunday, after slight finger and hamstring injuries.
Meanwhile Owen Coyle will return to Wembley for the first time since he led Burnley to a playoff win in 2009. His new look Lactics side boasting 10 new signings will fly the flag for the Championship at Wembley.
The most recent of those signing, James McClean looks set for a debut of dreams at the home of English football and while the focus for Coyle is a swift return to the Premier, the chance to cause another upset similar to their surprise 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup will no doubt spur Coyle and his side on.
While typically the Community Shield is the curtain-raiser for the new season, Wigan, the first team in history to win the FA Cup and be relegated from the Premier League in the same year, began their campaign last weekend and they will have been pleased to open their bid for promotion with a 4-0 win over Barnsley.
While Moyes will be keen to get off to a winning start and while the main focus will be the league and Europe should he suffer the ignominy of defeat then at the very least he can point to the fact that United have gone on to win the league only 55 per cent of the time they’ve won the Shield.
SQUEAKYBUM TIME VERDICT
Manchester United should win this one to get the Moyes era off to a trophy winning start however Wigan won’t make it easy and with a first competitive fixture already out of the way Owen Coyle’s side will be quicker out of the blocks. United have been the pre-season great entertainers with goals aplenty at both-ends, 24 goals in just 5 games, 9 in their own net and given their stature of their opponents Wigan will be confident of at the very least of breaching the Red Devil back line. United to win but Wigan to score: 3-1[/colored_box]