The last four winners of the Community Shield have all gone on to win the Premier League, so it is far more than local bragging rights that are at stake when Manchester United meet Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.
Three of the last four editions of the curtain-raising clash have ended level after 90 minutes, so given the closeness of recent Manchester derbies, with the last four being drawn or won by one-goal margins, the draw leaps out at 11/5.
Manchester City will head to the capital with confidence having defeated their rivals at the national stadium in the FA Cup in April but they are missing Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero will start on the bench, so they are 9/4 outsiders.
Manchester United meanwhile will also see plenty of reason for optimism having won six of the last nine derbies and three of the last four Community Shields, however two of those were claimed on penalties.
They also have a high-profile absentee of their own in the shape of prolific forward Javier Hernandez, yet they are 5/4 to build on an impressive pre-season with a 90-minute victory.
If a shootout is required to split the teams – there is no extra time in the Community Shield – then it is tough to look beyond Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, who have won the trophy on four of the five occasions that they have been taken to penalties.
It is no surprise therefore that the Red Devils are 4/6 to take the first silverware of the season, with Manchester City 11/10 to enjoy a third successful trip to Wembley in five months.
Both clubs have scored in seven of the last eight Shield games and that trend is 5/6 to be upheld. Another intriguing one is that a winger has opened the scoring in each of the last three to feature a goal. Nani is 10/1 to net first, with Ashley Young and David Silva 12/1.