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United Clipped After Community Shield Triumph


Sir Alex Ferguson's men produced a second half masterclass just as cross-town rivals Manchester City looked to have their heels firmly planted on the Champions' throats. It was a potentially era-defining moment when the gaffer sent on a cadre of younger up-and-coming stars at half-time. The remarkable quality of the second goal scored by the Red Devils may set the tone for the rest of the season as it now appears that Sir Alex is cobbling together another side of young stars – homegrown talent from the home nations – similar to one we saw in the mid 1990s.

This side, defined by the likes of Smalling, Cleverley, Jones and Welbeck sounds like a reference to a throw-back era when an English teams biggest names were, well, English instead of one of the 21st centuries most exciting footballing sides.

Many will criticize the performance of David De Gea, especially that second goal from Edin Dzeko but it may just have been a nerves thing and, on the surface, it was “just a friendly”.

Regardless, the bookmakers appear to have the utmost confidence in Sir Alex Ferguson's men as we head into the opening weekend of the season. The current odds being floated trade around 13/8 for United to repeat as Champions. The big-spending in the summer looks to be paying dividends with Smalling shifted to right back, where he looked very impressive, and Phil Jones putting on a clinic in midfield.

Chelsea are still considered to be the strongest challengers but they have been raised to 3/1 from the 5/2 they were trading at previously. City's performance did indicate that they have the potential to push United all the way and they are nipping at Chelsea's heels at a 7/2 listing.

The interesting thing for City will be to see what happens if they get deeper into the Champions League, and with two domestic cup competitions, and face depth issues as the league campaign drags on. Tellingly, both Arsenal and Liverpool trade at 10/1 for Premier League glory.  

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