Venue – Old Trafford
Kick off – 19.45pm
Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher is expected to make his first start for 10 months this evening at Old Trafford as they face Newcastle United in the third round of the League Cup.
United will be expected to put out many of their fringe and younger players for tonight’s game as they have the Premier League and Champions League to worry about at this stage of the season.
That could see a full debut given to Angelo Henriquez and the 18-year old Chilean could line up alongside youngsters Nick Powell, Alex Buttner and David De Gea, all of whom have tasted first team action this season.
Meanwhile Fabricio Coloccini is expected to make his return from injury tonight along with Cheik Tiote in a welcome boost to what will also be a youthful Newcastle United team as Alan Pardew seeks to juggle a team playing it’s fourth game of seven which fall within a 21-day period.
The game has come slightly early for the injured Tim Krul and former Manchester United full-back Danny Simpson although both players are expected to return to training sometime next week.
It is 40 years since Newcastle United won a game at Old Trafford and whilst such a record may leave Alan Pardew with a sinking feeling he need not despair too much.
Last season the Magpies were one of two sides to take points from Manchester United twice over the course of the Premier League season. The other team was Premier League champions Manchester City.
Newcastle scored an impressive 3-0 win over the Red Devils at St.James’ Park in December and that result will give Alan Pardew and his squad renewed confidence ahead of the daunting trip to Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side are seeking an impressive third League Cup title in five years this season and that experience could prove crucial against a tough Newcastle outfit this evening.
United have been known to slip up in the years between the victories though as Southend United (2006), Coventry City (2007) and Crystal Palace (2011) have all got the better of Ferguson’s men in the earlier rounds of the competition.
Verdict – Both teams should have youth in abundance tonight but also quality. Expect a game played at a fast pace with a few goals as well. It will be close but Manchester United hold home advantage and that could prove crucial. Manchester United to win.