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The new season’s official curtain raiser pitches Premier League champions Leicester against FA Cup winners Manchester United for the first silverware of the campaign.
After their heroics last season it would be foolish to underestimate the Foxes but United, under new manager Jose Mourinho and with some impressive new signings, look capable of considerably improving on the underwhelming performance that cost Louis van Gaal his job.
The Community Shield presents Mourinho with an early opportunity to leave his and United’s recent troubles behind and begin to regain the ruthless winning mentality that has been absent at Old Trafford recently. For Leicester it will be an occasion to savour but also a chance to prove they are not just one-season wonders.
Leicester wasted no time strengthening across the board this summer and although the Foxes haven’t added any big names everyone will be watching to see if they have uncovered another Riyad Mahrez or N’Golo Kante.
The most likely candidate, and their stand-out addition overall, is club-record signing Ahmed Musa and the striker showed his potential with two goals against Barcelona in the week.
Elsewhere, goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, defender Luis Hernandez, midfielder Nampalys Mendy, winger Bartosz Kapustka and forward Raul Uche have all arrived to add depth.
United, too, have been busy, adding the youth of Eric Bailly, the creativity of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the experience and winning mentality of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mourinho now has a squad that looks more balanced and with more options.
The key to winning this game could be which defence comes out on top, as both sides have attacks capable of causing plenty of trouble. Between them Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy scored 41 goals and set up 17 last season, and Ahmed Musa offers a threat too.
United boast Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitarayan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their frontline and the goal-shy performances of last campaign are sure to be quickly forgotten.
Both Leicester and United have been on tour this summer as part of the International Champions Cup, and although results don’t really matter in pre-season both sides will be a little frustrated with how things went.
Leicester began with a 1-1 draw against Celtic before conceding four times against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, while United also let in four as they lost to Borussia Dortmund before their game against Manchester City was postponed.
Things picked up with a 5-2 win against Galatasaray but a goalless draw with Everton show there is still work to do for Mourinho.
We meet again
Mourinho’s first competitive match in charge of United sees him come up against the last side he faced before being sacked as Chelsea manager in December 2015.
Although Leicester only won 2-1 on the night the result put them two points clear at the top with 16 games played and left defending champions Chelsea in 16th, one point above the relegation zone.
That game saw Ranieri finally get one over on Mourinho, the man who replaced him as Chelsea manager in 2004, and although the pair’s once fractious relationship has recovered both will be desperate to win at Wembley.
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