Manchester United vs Manchester City- Where to start. It is turning into the most highly anticipated Community Shield in years, a pre season exhibition that this time definitely matters. Meeting are the richest team in England and the best team in England, the FA Cup winners and the defending Premier League champions - it's all set up for a blockbuster affair. Or is it? It has become pretty clear over the last couple seasons, that Mancini doesn't fancy exciting games (after all, he is Italian). There was that drab nil-nil draw at the City of Manchester Stadium back in the Fall, and of course, the at times dour FA Cup semi final.
A nil-nil, and we would arrive directly at penalties, extra incentive to keep it tight - the prospect of an energy draining bout of extra time is impossible. Of all derbies, this is the one to play for a draw in - City have done it to United before, and they will feel confident of doing it again.
But then again, United will surely go all out; it is not in Fergie's psyche to accept nil-nil, and his line-up may include a number of players in need of a big performance. In Chicharito's absence, Dimitar Berbatov must stake a claim for that precious striking spot, while new signings Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea will all be eager to impress on their debuts. Meanwhile, youngster Tom Cleverley has only this match to convince Fergie of the folly of splashing thirty-five million on Sneijder - the Scotsman hinted that Cleverley could have part to play for United this season.
At City too, are an array of players trying to make their mark - both Eden Dzeko and Mario Balotelli need to impress, as new signing Sergio Aguero watches on from the bench. Perhaps somewhere, another Argentine will be watching, Tevez' name will be forever linked with the United-City rivalry, such a shame that his role in it looks to be coming to an end.
Prediction: 1-1, City wins on penalties