Neville And Carrick To Feature In Community Shield

Injury ravaged Manchester United will take Michael Carrick and Gary Neville to the Community Shield this Sunday, despite concerns over their respective fitness.
Neville has scarcely featured for United over the past 18 months and has seen his right-back berth surrendered to Wes Brown. However, the club captain will travel to Wembley this Sunday as Sir Alex Ferguson take the opportunity to run the rule over his depleted charges.

Also expected to feature against FA Cup winners Portsmouth is midfielder Michael Carrick. The ex-West Ham star has featured on United’s pre-season preparations but picked up a virus while in Nigeria. Wayne Rooney however, is not expected to take the field as he recovers from a more serious bout of the sickness.

Ferguson will field Portuguese winger Nani, as he is suspended for the Premier League kick-off against Newcastle.

"They need some minutes on the clock before the start of the season,” the United manager told the press.

"The Community Shield is a prestigious match but I have used players in it who were not quite fit and we are more or less in the same situation again."

United have something approaching a veritable injury crisis at the moment, Owen Hargreaves is not expected to return to first team action until the league match with Pompey in the second week of the season. Ben Foster will also be absent with a swollen knee.

Of the England goalkeeper’s problem, Ferguson said: "You can suffer this kind of thing from time to time when you have had a cruciate operation.

"We are trying to manage the swelling but he is not ready to take part in any games. It is unfortunate for the lad because he was looking forward to the new season."

Peter Staunton