Manchester United take on Middlesbrough in the League Cup

By Imran Kardar

So it’s back to the competition that gave United one of its most shocking defeats in recent history last season when a little known MK Dons ripped them apart. This is the kind of game that is maybe required by United and LVG to rest some of the key players who have had a tough string of matches in October. We can expect changes in this one and I for one would make wholesale changes.

Romero should start in goal to give DDG a rest. The defense could line up with Darmian, Jones, Blind and Rojo. Smalling should be rested for this one as he has been one of United’s key players this season and could do with some time off.

In the middle of the park Carrick should be brought back alongside Schneiderlin. It’s possible that LVG might pair Carrick and Herrera or Carrick and Fellaini for the game but I would go with Schneiderlin to give that defensive cover.

Upfront it should be an entirely new line with Depay, Fellaini, and Lingard in behind Wilson. All these players need match time under their belt. For Depay this could be a crucial game. He has been dropped from the team recently owing to poor form. So he should be charged up for this one and must put in a strong performance to get back in to the starting XI for the EPL. United need him as well in the EPL because due to his poor form and Young’s injury Anthony Martial has had to substitute at left wing whereas United could do with him up top scoring the goals. We might see Ashley young get some game time in the cup as well. I don’t think he will start having missed a couple of weeks training but a 30 minutes run around in the second half seems more likely.

We have seen some big teams go out of the cup already with Arsenal being demolished away to Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea losing on penalties to Stoke. United will need to be careful as smaller teams are always up for the cup and looking to be the next giant killers. One advantage to United, that Arsenal and Chelsea didn’t have, is that they play at home at Old Trafford. I’ll go with United prolonging their cup adventure with a 2-0 win. GGMU!

 

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