After a disappointing showing at the weekend, Manchester United will begin their Carabao Cup campaign against Aston Villa this week.
United were beaten 3-1 by the Villans last time out, ending their nine-game unbeaten run across all competitions.
Villa boss Unai Emery masterminded a well-deserved win over the Red Devils in his first game in charge and will be looking to replicate that this week.
United will, however, be looking to shake off their latest setback and kick off their cup campaign on a positive note.
When and where will the game take place?
After back-to-back games on the road, United will return to Old Trafford for their cup opener.
The match will be played on Thursday night as the final game of the cup round.
The Manchester outfit put out a largely underwhelming performance last weekend and will be desperate to return to winning ways this week.
United are five-time winners of the Carabao Cup, last lifting the trophy in the 2016-17 campaign.
They also had back-to-back semifinal finishes in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns, losing out to Manchester City on both occasions.
The Red Devils were knocked out at this stage of the competition last season after a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham United and will hope for better luck this time around.
The visitors picked up a 3-1 win over United in their last game and will head into the cup game on Thursday with confidence.
The Villans have also won the Carabao Cup five times, with their most recent triumph coming in the 1995–96 season.
Like their midweek hosts, Villa were knocked out at this stage of the domestic cup last season after losing to Chelsea on penalties.
They will now be looking to go further in the tournament this time around as they build on their brilliant start to life under Emery.
Players to watch – Fred vs Ramsey
With the World Cup fast approaching, both managers will have one final chance to rotate their squads before their league duties at the weekend.
Fred has been largely used as a backup player at United this season, last featuring as a starter against Tottenham Hotspur last month.
The Brazilian should return to the starting XI this week to provide the energy United’s midfield lacked last weekend.
Jacob Ramsey put out a solid showing against United last time out, providing the assist for the opening goal and scoring the third goal for the Birmingham outfit.
He will now be looking to replicate that performance this week as he establishes himself as one of England’s brightest prospects.
The respective performances of both players could ultimately determine the outcome of the tie.
Manchester United vs Aston Villa Predicted XI
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia; Casemiro, Fred; Anthony Elanga, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial.
Aston Villa (4-2-2-2): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Lucas Digne; Douglas Luiz, Leander Dendoncker; Jacob Ramsey, Emiliano Buendia; Leon Bailey, Ollie Watkins.
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