Wednesday 26, September 2012
Preview: Manchester Utd v Newcastle Utd
DESPITE their 2-1 win at Anfield, Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping his United team can produce a more convincing display against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup tonight, writes Will Moorcroft.
The Scot admitted that his team were “very poor” in Sunday’s clash with bitter rivals Liverpool, even after the Reds were reduced to 10-men following Jonjo Shelvey’s red card.
Newcastle, meanwhile, will be hoping to build on last year’s fantastic league campaign by landing a trophy, or at least having a good cup run.
Last season The Magpies were knocked out of both domestic cups in the fourth round. Geordie fans will want to see their team progress further this year, although Old Trafford will be a difficult place to achieve victory.
Worse still for Newcastle is that they have never won the League Cup, unlike United who have won the competition four times. The closest the Geordies have come was in the 1975/6 season, when they were beaten in the final by Manchester City.
The teams have only met twice in League Cup history; at Old Trafford in October 1976. Tommy Docherty’s United side thrashed Newcastle 7-2 that time, but a more recent meeting at St. James’ Park in 1994 saw Newcastle avenge that defeat with a 2-0 win.
United have beaten Newcastle 46 times out of 75 at Old Trafford, while the Magpies have won just nine times, with 20 draws - one of those coming in the league last year (1-1 in November). The last time these sides met, in January, Newcastle ran out 3-0 winners at the Sports Direct Arena.
United are still without Wayne Rooney after his clash with Hugo Rodallega a few weeks ago left him with a thigh injury. Also missing are Ashley Young, Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling, whilst Rafael Da Silva is a doubt after picking up a knock against Liverpool on Sunday. A massive blow for United’s already-weakened defence is the news that captain Nemanja Vidic will be out for up to eight weeks following knee surgery. Darren Fletcher may return, however, after months out with a stomach problem.
With a match against Spurs at the weekend looming, and Champions League action next week, Fergie may be tempted to field a younger team, with the likes of Nick Powell and Alex Buttner getting a look-in. In goal, David De Gea is likely to take Lindegaard’s place as Fergie considers his squad rotation scheme.
Newcastle face a tough Premier League encounter with Reading at the weekend, before entertaining Bordeaux next week in the Europa League. As such, manager Alan Pardew may have to consider his options tonight, with key players Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor and Danny Simpson still out with injury.
Provisional Squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner, Wootton, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Scholes, Cleverley, Fletcher, Powell, Kagawa, Hernandez, Welbeck, van Persie, Henriquez, Macheda, Bebe
Provisional Squad: Elliot, Harper, Santon, Williamson, Perch, S. Taylor, Ferguson, Tavernier, Cabaye, Anita, Ben Arfa, Gosling, Amalfitano, Gutierrez, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Tiote, Obertan, Vuckic, Abeid, Cisse, Ba, S. Ameobi, S. Ameobi, Campbell
Quays News prediction: 2-1 home win. Newcastle will give their hosts a good game, but Fergie will be hell-bent on avenging the 3-0 drubbing from Pardew’s side earlier this year. Ultimately, Man United’s attacking options will be too much for Newcastle.
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