Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says skipper Gary Neville and midfielder Michael Carrick will play in Sunday's Community Shield against Portsmouth.

The England duo both sat out training earlier this week, Neville with a calf strain and Carrick after picking up a bug in Nigeria.

But, with time running out before the Premier League champions begin their title defence against Newcastle on August 17, Ferguson intends to give both men, plus Nani, who will be suspended for the Magpies clash, some valuable game time at Wembley.

"They need some minutes on the clock before the start of the season," said Ferguson. "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."

Among the players who will not be considered is Wayne Rooney, who returned to training on Friday after suffering the same virus as Carrick, although Ferguson accepts it will be a "big job" to get him fit to face Newcastle.