Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur in tonight’s League Cup quarter-final, the team we beat to win the competition back in February.
The teams were evenly matched in the final. The talking points from that day? 1. Cristiano Ronaldo got booked for diving after he was fouled in the box and Ledley King shamefully applauded the referee’s decision, knowing full well it should have been a penalty. 2. Aaron Lennon ran riot down the right wing with Patrice Evra doing little to stop him. 3. Ben Foster was the penalty shoot out hero, winning the League Cup for United.
But who will be victorious tonight?
Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed we will be seeing a similar team to the one beaten by Besiktas at Old Trafford last week. With one eye on West Ham away at the weekend, it makes sense. Although you do have to wonder how much luck our lads will have against top four hopefulls Spurs when they struggled against that Turkish side.
Hopefully, Harry Redknapp will have one eye on the weekend too, as his team travel to Merseyside to take on Everton, who are surely due a result. Which means more to Spurs? A trophy or a top four finish? Redknapp knows the answer to that one and will pick his team accordingly. To even things out slightly, I’m of course hoping he saves some of his first choice players for the weekend.
Danny Welbeck and Federio Macheda will be hoping to be first choice for the manager again, although after failing to produce any real moments of magic last week maybe their places will be up for grabs. Michael Owen would be all too willing to fill one, as would Dimitar Berbatov. Berbatov was an unused sub in our 4-1 win over Portsmouth at the weekend, after not playing since the end of October against Blackburn, where he scored our opening goal. Will the manager shift Welbeck to the wing to accomodate Berbatov or Owen or both? Quite possibly.
We’ll be looking for more from Darron Gibson, who failed to impress as we’d hoped last week. Anderson is now probably below Carrick, Fletcher and Scholes in pecking order, so will need to come up with the goods if chosen again tonight.
Tonight could possibly see the return of Nani, a player Sir Alex Ferguson has repeatedly insisted is not for sale, despite rumours of a falling out. The winger hasn’t played for a whole month, missing our matches against Chelsea, Everton, Besiktas and Portsmouth, and with Valencia and Obertan putting in some impressive displays, Nani really does have a point to prove if he wants to stay at this club.
Tonight will be a difficult one for United, no doubt, but hopefully our youngsters can prove the manager right.
Betfair offers a free £25 bet and you can place bets as the match is being played, depending on who you fancy to grab a goal.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.