Wigan Athletic vs. Manchester United preview: Line up and prediction

Wigan away
Robin van Persie celebrates a Manchester United goal against Wigan Athletic last season.

After two dull months of no football, excluding the silky Spain and ignoring the shambles that is England in the U21 European Championships, we’re back with a bang as Manchester United take on FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield at Wembley.

Its all change at United with new manger David Moyes starting out in the footsteps of the great Sir Alex Ferguson and of course, the legendary Paul Scholes has moved on to pastures new. Despite the monumental change at the top, United fans are in position they haven’t been in since November 1986 – a new manager at the helm, which is exciting in itself. Here we take a look at the match preview with a superb view from the opposition as we discuss that superb victory over Manchester City, Antonio Valencia and whether or not Wayne Rooney still has it.

We welcome comments from both sets of fans.

A view from the opposition

We’re lucky to again be joined by Wigan supporter Peter Walker of the This Is Northern Soul forum, who’s kindly given us his views of the Wigan team, Owen Coyle and whether or not the club can hang on to Maloney and McCarthy. You can follow Peter on Twitter here.

1) Were you happy with Owen Coyle’s appointment and has he changed your system at all?

McClaren would have been my choice, Coyle wasn’t a popular choice with a lot of Wigan fans but I’ve been impressed at how he has gone about his recruitment after the mass exodus at the end of the season

2) Do you expect to keep Maloney and McCarthy?

Both are loyal and are under contract for a couple of years but both of them would go with our blessings as they have been fantastic to the club. Gut feeling, Maloney will stay , McCarthy will go but only for big money

3) Your FA Cup win is one of the most remarkable of all time. What are your memories of that day and what was your original prediction?

Up until the day didn’t expect anything but a hammering but woke up on the day actually with a sneaking suspicion that we might just nick it…and we did. The goal when it went in was like it was in slow motion, unbelievable for little Wigan. City fans were extremely sporting after the game many shaking hands with us and wishing us well, a far cry from the Millwall fans after the semi.

4) Would you have swapped that win for a Champions League spot?

We can always get back in the P.L. but after 82 years we are now the holders of the biggest football cup in the world. ½ billion people watched the game, I watched Latics in front of 1,550 in 1976

5) What have you made of David Moyes’ appointment? Right man?

Time will tell, I’m not sure anyone could follow in such illustrious shoes. A lot of big personalities to manage and DM has a reputation as a man who doesn’t suffer fools, fun times ahead?

6) Lots of talk regarding Wayne Rooney leaving. What do you think of him and at 27, surely he still has lots to offer?

The guy has the class, I’m not sure he still has the will

7) How do you expect to line up on Sunday?

Coyle favours 4-5-1 and expect the same line up as last weekend;

Boyce (c), Barnett, Perch, Crainey,
Maloney, McCarthy, Watson, McArthur, Beausejour,

8) If you could take one United player to Wigan, who would it be?

Luis Antonio Valencia, a class player when fit and will always be one of ours

9) Where will you finish in the Championship this season?

Difficult to say, they are about 14 clubs capable of going up and we are one of them. 55 games minimum is a lot of games, play offs probably

10) Give us a little known fact about the Latics.

Bernard who has compiled a history of Wigan Borough our predecessor and ourselves would probably be able to give you hundreds. Springfield Park had the biggest playing area of all clubs and used to have a trotting track around it.

Team News

Manchester United
All eyes will be on whether or not Wayne Rooney is included within the squad. United’s number ten, who has been the subject of two Chelsea bids over the summer, will be back at Wembley on Wednesday with the national squad, so surely that “shoulder injury” has cleared by now?

Both Nani and Hernandez have picked up muscles problems, whilst Kagawa and Valencia aren’t match fit considering the extra holidays issued to the players. Kagawa was given a week off following the Japanese tour.

Wigan Athletic
The Latics are without club captain Gary Caldwell who has picked up a hip injury. Defender Ivan Ramis is still missing from action having rupturing his cruciate ligament in January and new signing Thomas Rogne has a back injury and will not be risked.

Potential Manchester United line up

David Moyes has the chance to win his first piece of silverware with Manchester United on Sunday and will surely field a strong side against the FA Cup holders. David De Gea, who had an excellent season last term, will start in goal with Rafael, Vidic, Evans and Evra in front of him at the back. Rio Ferdinand played 80 minutes in his testimonial match last Friday, so could well be rested.

Jones could anchor the midfield alongside United’s player of the season last term Michael Carrick, with Ryan Giggs operating just in front off of Robin van Persie. Danny Welbeck, who no doubt will want to play through the centre at some point this season, could be asked to do what he did so well last term and operate on the left flank, whilst new boy Wilfried Zaha could be given his first competitive debut if Nani isn’t deemed fit enough to start.


How would you line up on Sunday?

Conclusion and match prediction

On paper, United should walk it as they did in the 2006 League Cup final. But like on that day, United could well have a disgruntled forward on the bench, who’s future could well decide the title this season. Ruud van Nistelrooy was soon sold to Real Madrid following that League Cup win, but United didn’t need him in the end – winning three league titles and a European Cup in the between. Rooney on the other hand, if he does go to Chelsea, could well be the missing piece in Jose Mourinho’s side.

Many United fans feel aggrieved at the way Rooney has handled himself since the title celebrations in May, especially considering it wasn’t too long ago he handed in a transfer request stating that United weren’t ambitious enough. Rooney will definitely be a major talking point tomorrow, especially if he makes the bench – which is surely unlikely. Michael Owen believes thats its not a question of money, but whether he feels wanted at Old Trafford. Only people at the club know whether this is true, but surely any United fan would not want to see Wayne Rooney lining up in a Chelsea shirt next season? It is a regrettable situation for both the player and the club.

Away from the obvious Rooney discussions, David Moyes will be under the spotlight, especially after his failure to luew Spanish playmaker Cesc Fabregas away from Barcelona. United’s transfer dealings resembled a travelling circus, with leaks all over the place – a far cry from the way in which David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson used to handle business. There is nothing better than getting your competitive Manchester United career off with a trophy win and Moyes has a chance to make it sixteen Community Shield wins (outright, United hold the current record of nineteen wins with four shared) by beating Wigan.

United have only ever met Wigan in the Premier League era and, as mentioned previously, once in the League Cup at Cardiff in 2006. United have won seventeen of the eighteen ties, with Wigan’s only win coming at the end of the 2011/12 season – a crucial three points dropped for United, which ultimately gave Manchester City the initiative to win the league title. Despite the poor pre season results and the even more erratic transfer dealings, United must surely win handsomely.

Prediction: 3-0 United

9 Comments on Wigan Athletic vs. Manchester United preview: Line up and prediction

  1. yesterday we lost to sevilla 1-3. it was terrible as everybody know by now. i know its just a “meaningless” friendly, so called midfield of anderson and cleverley looks like came from championship( no disrespect to that competition though), can anybody explain that cleverley doing in manchester united? i know he’s local but he’s really shity player and if he plays tmrw we propably lose.. WHY MOYES DONT BUY FELLAINI???manchester united is a joke at the moment sadly, moyes is completely out of his depth, its a big chance for wigan tmrw.

  2. and owen is right – rooney is unwanted at united for whatever reason (big fergies mistake as it was with pogba) why he let him go? look at our “midfield “now – one overweight crazy brazilian another is local lad who very shit at football. carrick alone wont last for long..

  3. Firstly Minimal WTF! how about we just sack Moyes i mean he hasn’t won a trophy yet so must be crap!

    But in all honesty I don’t think Moyes could of chosen a more suitable team for his first ‘match’ in charge. Imagine had City won the Fa CUP we would have had the worst imaginable first 6 games in history !! 🙁
    Fact is it will be interesting to see if he does his 4-3-3 with Jones behind Carrick and AN OTHER (cleverley ATM) with RVP up front and Zaha one side and AN other other side prob welbeck then change to 4-4-2 at times
    Personally this season im hoping to see Tony V back to what he was pre-broken leg missed him badly last year but near end of season showed glimpses of what he is capable of.
    For me, Rooney has burnt his bridges, sell him, granted wouldn’t want to see a Rooney at Chelsea with point to prove that for me would make them clear favourites, but unfortunately at the moment no other bidders, so we have 2 choices
    1 – Unhappy Wayne @ Carrington
    2 – Sell him to main rival whose manager is arguably one of the (if not the) best manager in world footie

  4. cmonn man – iam not saying sack moyes 🙂 its ridicilous but you need to be realistic and current pre season form is not good, and moyes is limited coach in the first place – croses in to the box -football has moved on from this approach. i think united need to move on from this 442 dogma, but it’s just my opinion. iam afraid we will never beat likes like madrid barcelona bayern with this prehistorical football. but we could improve our situation with two or three signings. (fellaini, modric(fantasy) and rooney replacement)there are they, maybe you know something? with current team we will be fighting for fourth place this year in premier league for sure – everybody bought good players city chelsea lpool improved as well. and it’s not rooney burnt his bridges its united rooney just was quiet all that time, and moyes did the speaking . anyway it looks like his finished with united..

  5. Moyes must make that he sign a quality midfielder and should make sure that hypocrite mouriho swallow his words because he the cause of all this Wayne Rooney saga. Let him concentrate on how chelsea team.

  6. mr moyes y is it that there is money an u dont want to sign ? He bided for thiago for so long an bayan came not up to a week an dey sign him i just want to know y is moyes dall in the transfer market with this squard i dont think we will be in top for moyes pleas try an sign even if only fellani an modric pleas this is united not everton pleas we beg u ,, we dont want to see anderson in tomorrow match pleas play our 4-4-2 formation pleas in up front i need Zaha,RVP, if possible rooney or welbek den nani mild field carrick and clevaley or jones pleas

  7. confused moyes confused woodward,two blindmen leading one another,if moyes like let him go from planA,B,C,D to Z,he remains a fool for christ sake,i’ve just lost my cool on him,if he like let him loose sunday game against wigan,he wil pay for it…he’s not gonna walk on d street free..sounds of arm waiting…nonsense

  8. sorry to say there are too many spoilt utd fans in this era,i think its an exciting time for our great club to go forward with our new manager,we have had it all gravy over the years.i rememember the days when sexton came in,when atkinson came and went,when wilf mcguiness came in after the greatest manager sir matthew busby.we have the oppurtunity of a clear playing field in what is a fascinating time with mourinho[who in my opinion would have been a big mistake in the hot seat at o.t],city,s new spanish waiter and the news that everyone thinks utd will be competing for the 4th spot,that is a joke.the set up is at utd is in place and lets get behind d.m,give him a chance,our pre season games are no reflection on what is to come in the p.l,c,l,f.a cup,etc.fergie had to fend off the flak when he started as does every new gaffer who comes in,inspired signings behind the scenes with phill neville,gigsy playing and training,chris woods who is an excellent g/keeping coach,these are just a few to mention,but giggsy,p/neville are that link back to the early days and will help d.m in this auspicious club.one thing that does worry me and has been for a long time is the position,s of midfield,we really should have picked someone up by now,fellaini is in my eyes the perfect solution,tricky on the ball,combative,threat at set pieces,he breaks up the midfield play,a job that toure does well at city.we really do need the midfield tightening up.rooney i am afraid is a disgrace to the club,the shirt,the fans.get rid sell him to mourinho,get the money and invest it wisely.if your head doesn,t want to play for the club,then there is no point in keeping him.he has been spoilt over the years,rvp has took utd to another level and he rooney has seen that impact up front and personal,if he cant handle the fact that he isn,t first name on the team shirt then his time is up if he cant fight for his place like hernandez,wellbeck and any other player in different places.c,mon get real wazza,time to wise up.even if we dont win the league by may,lets hope we can get cup success especially f.a cup since we are the record holders for most wins.

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