It is a midweek game again for Manchester United. This time around it is not under the glaring lights of Champions League football, but domestic cup action. Capital One Cup duties beckon and the competition is usually seen as an ideal opportunity for the youngsters to get a game or two.
However United last won the competition in 2010, so the winning atmosphere at Old Trafford will require full commitment to the trophy. First opponent – Ipswich Town.
The win away to Southampton will certainly see The Reds in high spirits so the tie is also seen as an opportunity to form some kind of a winning run before more serious games commence. Van Gaal will not underestimate the trophy this time around, after suffering his most embarrassing loss to MK Dons one year ago.
Some senior players may be given a rest but I do expect a very strong starting eleven. It will be a nice opportunity to check the development of players like Andreas Perreira, Jesse Lingard and James Wilson and whether they are ready for the bigger tasks ahead.
Ipswich have dispatched Stevenage and Doncaster to get so far and head coach Mick McCarthy has been inclined towards picking a strong starting eleven for the occasion. They have been performing steadily in the Championship as expected for a team under the Irishman.
Luke Shaw is a long term absentee with no return date yet. Phil Jones has returned to training after suffering blood clot in his leg and is expected to feature.
No real injuries are troubling Mick McCarthy’s selection with many enthusiastic to play in the game despite suffering some knocks and bruises.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1):Romero; Valencia, McNair,Jones,Rojo; Herrera,Carrick; Lingard, Feillani,Young; Wilson
Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Bialkowski;Chambers, Tommy Smith, Christophe Berra,Knudsen; Fraser, Skuse,Douglas,Toure; Sears,Murphy
Players to watch:
As noted this will be an ideal opportunity for some of United’s youngsters, which will be given a chance. Much is expected from Andreas Perreira as the next great youngster to come out of our ranks. Wilson has already showed some promise, so this might be his stage to shine. A serious opportunity for Lingard to show why he merits a first team chance.
Last Meeting: Ipswich Town: Manchester United 0:1 20th April 2002
A Ruud Van Nistelrooy penalty was enough to see off the Tractor Boys. It was a largely disappointing season for United, surrendering to title to Arsenal and unable to beat Bayer Leverkusen in UCL Semi-Finals.
A meeting between the two teams that United fans will be fond of will be the 9:0 record win with goals from Roy Keane, Andy Cole (5) , Mark Hughes (2) and Paul Ince on 4th March 1995.
Any of the two wins will do for Van Gaal’s men with Red fans hoping the result is more remiscent to latter rather than the former.
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