This Sunday, Manchester United will face Wigan Athletic in their match to secure glory and silverware in the Football Association’s Community Cup at the prestigious Wembley Stadium in north-west London. The match, scheduled for kick-off at 2 pm UK time today, will be the first meeting of the two teams since the retirement of beloved Red Devils manager Alex Ferguson. This will be an important clash for the new occupier of the managerial office, David Moyes, as he tries to head off criticism of United’s recent poor form in two earlier matches against Japanese sides as well as injecting new confidence into his star eleven.
The match will also be Latics manager Owen Coyle‘s first game heading up his team in what looks to be a memorable event. Wigan Athletic are buoyed up by their first ever FA Cup win which will give them much-needed confidence against one of the UK’s premier flight teams in this traditional curtain-raiser for the 2013 season.
Manchester United have won the Shield no less than fifteen times in 28 contests and lifted the maiden award back in 1908. Three years later, United trounced Swindon Town 8-4 at Stamford Bridge, with Harold Halse, an England international of the time, scoring a double hat-trick.
On the other hand, the Community Shield is virgin territory for the Latics. They were a non-league side until 1978, and today’s contest will be the first under the Shield in the club’s 81-year history. They are no strangers to Wembley however, having made appearances at the stadium for FA Trophy, Football League Trophy and Football League Play-Off Finals. For the Latics, it may well be an exciting time as they are still buzzing after picking up the FA Cup thanks to a blinding extra-time goal from Ben Watson against the Devils’ derby rivals, Manchester City.
The Wembley playoff will be refereed by Mark Clattenburg along with assistants Mike Mullarkey and Scott Ledger. The British broadcasting of the match handled live on ITV1 – part of the ITV network, and the corporate sponsor is McDonalds. This will also be the first English match to make use of goal-line technology, an FA drive to ensure greater accuracy and fairer decisions in the game.
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