Two wins in the last two matches have come as welcome relief even if the performances haven’t been what you would expect from a Manchester United side, but given recent results a win is a win nonetheless.
Coming up next for Manchester United is the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup fourth round in a repeat of last season third round fixture and the visitors will take no comfort from the fact that their last win at Old Trafford was a 1-0 victory in a league match in February 1980.
This coupled with the fact that last time they visited United they came away with a suspended £25,000 after fielding 10 changes to their usual line up.
Sir Alex Ferguson has indicated that a number of changes will be made for tonight’s game;
“We have a big complement of players here, and Fabio, Gibson, Kiko, Obertan, Bebe, Evans and Smalling will all be involved against Wolves. ?
“I thought our young players did very well at Scunthorpe. We had seven chances and scored five goals. It’s a great ratio – I wish I could say that every week!??
“There’s been a slight change this season in that we feel we should be giving some experience to the younger players in European games too, as another stage in their progress. We did that with Kiko, Smalling, Rafael and Kuszczak against Bursaspor, to see how they would react, and we’re very pleased with that. ??
“But I expect a tough game. You know exactly what you are going to get from Mick McCarthy’s teams.”
Tomasz Kuszczak should start in goal, with an inexperienced backline of the Da Silva twins and Chris Smalling being led by Wes Brown.
Expect a Ji-Sung Park to line up on the left as he continues to reach full match fitness, with Gabriel Obertan on the other flank, while Darron Gibson and Anderson will be looking to enhance their chances in the first team with good performances.
Interestingly, Michael Owen has scored seven goals in his last nine appearances in the Carling Cup, so he should be in the first eleven, probably beside either Federico Macheda or Bebe as Sir Alex rotates his squad.
His counterpart at Wolves, Mick McCarthy feels a cup run could be just what his side need,
“At this moment in time, wouldn’t it be great for us to have a cup run?” said McCarthy.
“Everyone knows about the games we’ve got. We’ve just been beaten by Chelsea, we’ve got Man United in the cup, [Manchester] City in the league, United in the league then Arsenal in the league,” McCarthy continued.
“So wouldn’t it be great to have a victory of any sorts amongst all of those? And if it’s going to be in the Carling Cup, let’s have it.”
“Manchester United played yesterday, so I’m sure they’ll make some changes,” he said.
“It’s quite unusual for anybody to play on Sunday then on Tuesday, it’s strange,” he added.
Wolves have Ronald Zubar out with an ankle injury and Jody with a hip issue, while Karl Henry is still ineligible due to suspension.
Though, Stephen Hunt, who came off the bench against Chelsea, is in line for his first start of the season.
But with an excellent record of late in the Carling Cup, a victory should be expected with some of the youth talents Sir Alex believes the club be built on in the future.
Prediction: 3-1 United
Probable Line Up: Kuszczak; Rafael, Smalling, Brown, Fabio; Park, Gibson, Anderson, Obertan; Owen, Macheda.
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