Manchester United must win two key match-ups against Newcastle United in today’s eagerly anticipated Carabao Cup final at the Wembley Stadium.
The Red Devils have not won any silverware for nearly six years and they have an excellent opportunity to end the dreadful drought against the Magpies.
Ahead of the game, there are plenty of match-ups to watch out for and here are a couple that United must win to outclass Eddie Howe’s side today.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka vs Allan Saint-Maximin
Wan-Bissaka started ahead of Diogo Dalot in the European ties against Barcelona. Erik ten Hag definitely values the defensive attributes of the right-back.
In our view, the 25-year-old will make the XI for the Carabao Cup final and he has a huge job on his hands to nullify the attacking threat of Saint Maximin.
In the recent 2-0 loss to Liverpool, the Frenchman won a stunning seven take-ons despite the fact that the Magpies were a man down for 70 odd minutes.
The winger also won seven of his ground duels at St James’ Park. Wan-Bissaka, who is brilliant with his one-on-one defending, will be aiming to keep him quiet.
Saint-Maximin has scored or assisted in each of his last three appearances against United.
Fred vs Bruno Guimaraes
Fred had a stellar second half against Barcelona in midweek. He scored the vital equaliser shortly after the break and indirectly played a part in Antony’s winning goal.
He was also brilliant with his ability to win ground duels and following the game, he was hailed by Ten Hag as a ‘mosquito‘ as he limited Frenkie de Jong’s supply.
The Brazilian has a similar job to do against his compatriot Guimaraes, who has been outstanding for the Tyneside outfit since his arrival from Lyon 13 months ago.
Similar to Casemiro, Guimaraes is back following a three-man domestic suspension and should be fresh for the final, having not played any football in between.
Fred must win the majority of his duels against Guimaraes, who has seven goal contributions this term.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Sofascore.com
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