ENGLAND'S big guns kick off their season today but it's really only a warm-up for the main event. Chelsea and Man United meet in the Community Shield at Wembley and it's basically a friendly in anything but name.

The last three Shield clashes have gone to penalties and that will be a popular pick today. If you fancy that outcome take 5-1 from the likes of Paddy Power and totesport for both sides to win a shoot-out.

Determined not to sit on the fence I'm taking United to edge it. They have looked slightly more impressive in pre-season and could take advantage of the fact Chelsea will be minus Petr Cech and Didier Drogba.

In Cech's absence Carlo Ancelotti is likely to turn to Hilario, the keeper sometimes dubbed as Hilarious. And it won't be funny for the Blues if he repeats the mistakes he's made in friendlies recently.

So consider United at a biggest 15-8 with Paddy Power against Chelsea who are 6-4 at Bodog and Bet365. The draw pays 23-10 with Ladbrokes and 1-1 is 11-2 at Bodog.

If it hadn't been for a disastrous World Cup Wayne Rooney would look a cracking bet at 6-1 with 888sport and Bodog to score first. Let's see how Rooney appears before risking our hard-earned cash on him. United new boy Javier Hernandez did score in the South Africa finals and the Mexican might be a better bet at 15-2 with Bet365.

Without Drogba Chelsea fans will punt Nicolas Anelka at 6-1 with Paddy Power and Ladbrokes but I'd prefer Wembley goals machine Frank Lampard at 7-1 at 888sport.

Whatever you do keep stakes small on this one or you may be heading for care in the Community.


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