Community Shield – Team news & predicted line-ups for Leicester City vs Man Utd
The English football season finally gets under way this weekend after the long summer break, with Manchester United and Leicester City competing in Sunday’s Community Shield at Wembley.
José Mourinho will be taking charge of United for the first time in a competitive fixture after succeeding Louis van Gaal, while the Foxes will be hoping to add another trophy to their cabinet after last year’s surprise Premier League title triumph.
Claudio Ranieri’s men won the league by a massive 10 points in the end, but despite shocking the world last year few pundits are backing them to pull off a repeat performance, with United among the big boys who are expected to perform much better during the coming campaign.
The International Champions Cup provided a rude awakening of life among the elite for Leicester, who were well beaten by Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona during the pre-season tournament.
Manchester United earned their place in the Community Shield final by winning May’s FA Cup, Jesse Lingard coming up with a superb winning goal in extra-time to edge the match against 10-man Crystal Palace. Mourinho is expected to bring more silverware to Old Trafford and this is a perfect chance for the Portuguese to start on a high.
But who should fantasy football players be looking out for from Sunday’s showpiece match?
Manchester United players to watch
Zlatan Ibrahimović made a spectacular start to life as a Manchester United player, scoring an acrobatic volleyed goal on his debut against Gothenburg in his home country of Sweden recently.
Ibrahimović’s fitness levels are perhaps not as high as the rest of the squad due to the timing of his signing for United, but he is still expected to play a part in this game. Ibrahimović will be one of the most expensive fantasy football players all season, so this is a chance to judge his value.
Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are the other two major signings at United this season and the Armenian is likely to be on many fantasy football shortlists. From the 31 Bundesliga appearances he made last season, Mkhitaryan recorded 11 goals and 15 assists for Borussia Dortmund, with the attacking midfielder eventually expected to line up in the number 10 role for Mourinho.
Mourinho has been clear that he sees Wayne Rooney as a striker, with the club captain having played as a midfielder at the end of last season and throughout this summer’s Euro 2016, so it will be fascinating to see where Rooney is selected by Mourinho at Wembley, with a spot in-behind Ibrahimovic looking most likely.
David de Gea finally became Spain’s number one goalkeeper at Euro 2016 and he looks to be the obvious selection for a goalkeeper in Community Shield fantasy football games this weekend.
Predicted starting line-up for Man Utd (4-2-3-1)
Leicester City players to watch
Ranieri has pledged to select his strongest XI for this game after a heavy loss to Barcelona in the International Champions Cup, with N’Golo Kanté the only major loss to last season’s squad.
Kanté signing for Chelsea will be a massive blow, but the arrival of Nampalys Mendy from Nice looks set to plug that gap in the Foxes midfield. Mendy is well known to Ranieri as he worked with the player at Monaco earlier in his career.
The other two stars in the Leicester team, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, were among the most successful fantasy football players last season and both are likely to be picked against United.
Vardy turned down a move to Arsenal to commit his long-term future to Leicester by signing a new contract, while Mahrez remains at the King Power Stadium despite reported interest from a host of elite clubs. Mahrez has been bright in pre-season, scoring a fine goal in an International Champions Cup draw against Celtic, but Vardy has serious competition for his place up front.
The signing of Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow adds depth to Ranieri’s striking options, but he looks like an alternative to Vardy rather than a potential partner. Musa’s versatility means he could line up on either wing, with his pace making him a threat through the middle as well.
Defensively, Christian Fuchs and Wes Morgan were reliable fantasy football selections last year and could be sound selections for Community Shield fantasy football games on Sunday.
Predicted staring line-up for Leicester City (4-4-2)
Can Mourinho start his reign by picking up some silverware?