Community Shield betting: Back Jose’s Manchester United to outfox Leicester City in season openerPublished August 07, 2016
Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson there has been some seismic changes at Old Trafford. A short and sour tenure for David Moyes was followed by a disappointing at worst and frustrating at best time in charge for Dutchman Louis Van Gaal, who, for all his respect in world football, never really “fitted” with the modus operandi of the English Premier League and indeed the way in which the media and fans behave here.
Step forward Jose Mourinho, who is a master of dealing with all three and has United fans understandably excited for the season ahead. William Hill price The Red Devils at 10/11 to land their first piece of silverware in 90 minutes at Wembley on Sunday. The Community Shield will be shown on Sky Sports 1 at 4pm and is set to be an interesting early meeting with the surprise Premier League champions Leicester City, who are the 5/2 underdogs with Betfair in the same 90-minute market.
Mourinho has been quick to bring in new faces to the United fold, such as Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and of course Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with a much-anticipated return to Old Trafford for Paul Pogba also on the cards. For many United fans the Community Shield will be their first chance to see the new faces in the club’s iconic red colours and assess their ability to fit into the current squad. Ibrahimovic in particular should excite the supporters and provide a predatory edge in the final third that was missing for the majority of 2015-16. At 10/1 for top goalscorer in the league, expectations of the Swede are sky high.
A recent 4-1 beating at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup was not exactly ideal preparation for the challenges that lie ahead and Mourinho will hope his side’s performances are much improved by the time the Community Shield rolls around. Should United start the season well, most will anticipate and dream of a Premier League title challenge, with the bookmakers placing Mourinho’s men as second favourites to be crowned English champions in 2016-17.
For Leicester City, many feel anything they can achieve this season is “bonus” territory. They have the Champions League to cope with, along with the league itself and the general consensus is they will struggle to maintain a meaningful defence of their crown. The loss of Kante to Chelsea removes a significant disc in their spine from last season and it remains to be seen exactly to what extent they can uphold the outstanding quality of football produced so consistently last term. Leicester’s £16m club-record signing Ahmed Musa scored both goals in a 4-2 defeat by Barcelona in the International Champions Cup on Wednesday night.
Jamie Vardy, who signed an extended four-year contract in June, and Riyad Mahrez, who has been linked with Arsenal, both started for Leicester and will likely do so again on Sunday, but Manchester United are expected to prove a bit too strong and can edge out a win within normal time.
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