Football: Charity and faith is Vivas' hope

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The Independent Online
NELSON VIVAS is expected to make his debut for the Double winners Arsenal against Manchester United at Wembley today as the Charity Shield announces the beginning of the new season for the elite clubs.

For all the fanfare that awaits the Argentine, however, Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, insisted that his place in the side is far from guaranteed. "It will not be easy for him and he knows that," Wenger said. "He will play a part at Wembley but I am not sure where at the moment. But he is a good signing for us because he... can play on both flanks or in midfield as a marker." Yet Vivas, who played in four of Argentina's five World Cup games in France, is not prepared to become a stop-gap reserve. "It is true I can play well in a number of positions," he said, "but my favourite is right-back where I played for Argentina and where I intend to play for Arsenal."

United, meanwhile, will be seeking a bright start to the season following a campaign that, for once, yielded nothing. The pain of last season will provide Alex Ferguson's side with plenty of motivation, according to the captain, Peter Schmeichel.

"The title is something we feel is ours because we have won it so much in the last few years," he said. "The hurt starts then. But it is channelled into a determination to go on and do better than we did last season."

Ferguson will welcome the return of the combative Roy Keane, sidelined by injury last season: "Roy is such an influence; he is as important and influential to us as [Eric] Cantona," he said. "Roy is always the sort of player who gets everyone else going; he gees us up. There are some players who are like that, the sort of player you are pleased to have in your team."

United have been cleared to play LKS Lodz in the Champions' League on Wednesday. The Polish football association claimed it has settled its differences with the country's government and has met the deadline imposed by Fifa, the sport's world governing body.

Arsenal (probable): Seaman; Dixon, Adams, Keown, Winterburn; Vivas, Parlour, S Hughes, Bergkamp; Anelka, Wreh.

Manchester United (probable): Schmeichel, G Neville, Johnsen, Stam, Irwin, Mulryne, Keane, Butt, Giggs, Cole, Sheringham.