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Ahead of United vs Newcastle…

United take on Newcastle in the League Cup tonight with the expectation of giving some of our youngsters a go whilst also ensuring we progress to the next round. Whilst the League Cup is regarded as our last priority, we’ve won it more than any other club in recent years and historically only Liverpool and Aston Villa have won it more times than us. It was the first trophy that Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra won at the club so any opportunity to give our players a taste of silverware, particularly those starved of it like Robin van Persie, should be appreciated.

United go in to the game after being delivered two new injuries blows, with the club confirming that Nemanja Vidic needs surgery on his knee and will be out for two months, whilst Antonio Valencia was seen leaving Carrington on crutches with a protective boot.

Whilst we were likely to let some youngsters have a run out regardless, they will now be featuring out of necessity too, with a league game against Spurs just a few days away. If the injuries keep piling up United will have to prioritise and their chances of winning the League Cup this season will diminish even further. United are currently 2nd favourites to win the League Cup in the Capital One Cup betting this season.

Michael Keane, our Reserve Player of the Year from last season, should be brought in for Rio Ferdinand at the back. Jonny Evans and Rio are our only available central defenders at the moment, with Michael Carrick our best available cover, so it’s important that Keane gets some minutes for the first team under his belt.

Jesse Lingard could also be brough in tonight after scoring in the Manchester Senior Cup last week. The 19-year-old is eager to play and is hoping for the opportunity to learn from the older players. “You need the experience of the older players to be there with you and help you along the way,” he said.

Tom Cleverley’s absence from the team that started at Anfield was a surprise, with Ryan Giggs being preferred to him, so it would be good to see him start tonight. Nick Powell might also be hoping to feature, after scoring on his debut against Wigan.

Newcastle did really well last season and so if they bring their strongest side, we could be in for a tough game. As City learnt against Villa and Everton from Leeds, playing weakened sides doesn’t always work. They have a trip to Reading this weekend though so maybe they’ll leave some of their better players out too.

Come on United!

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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47 Comments

  1. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Scott, Spot on assessment of the need to bring forward some of the reserves.
    We are back to having only 2 fit CBs in Evans and Rio. That is a very precarious position in deed.

    Hope to see Büttner and Frederick Veseli as FBs as well.

    Will be interesting read the team sheet today.

    Still think we have to play Cleverley, Ando, Nick, Welbeck and Chicharito as they all need games as well.

  2. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Ah right, Interesting where Rooney will play as well. Deep I expect.

  3. kanchelskis says:

    Johnstone

    ??
    Keane
    Evans (with instructions not to overcommit physically)
    Buttner

    Welbeck
    Fletcher
    Powell
    Cleverley
    Lingard

    Hernandez

    Really don’t know who’ll play at RB. If anything we’re even more stretched in that position than at CB, with Smalling and Jones out, and now the backup option in Valencia also injured. Will he risk Rafael?

  4. jb says:

    id have fletcher at rb and andersron in mid

  5. FletchTHEMAN says:

    kanchelskis. Think it will be Rafael or Vasselli at RB.

  6. altyred says:

    The only signing we need to make is a new club doctor. These injuries are horrendous, AGAIN, and it’s depressingly predictable that all our best players get crocked just as we have a hard run of fixtures coming up. Somebody needs to take responsibility for this – how was Vidic given the all clear when it’s clearly the same injury coming up again?? I smell incompetence

  7. Redbilly says:

    I agree re vidic. If he’s suffering a torn meniscus , was this not apparent during his initial rehabilitation, or was is a subsequent injury due to not bring ready . I was surprised to see him back to be honest. I’m not qualified in the field but I gave the gut feeling it us linked to starting before fully recovered.

  8. kanchelskis says:

    @Fletch

    Didn’t know Vesselli could play at fullback. Has to be him then. No way Rafael should be risked IMO.

  9. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Nick Powell: “It’ll be a great experience (Newcastle).. and a tough challenge. If I get my chance, I’m determined to take it with both hands.”

    Seems a sensible kid. Don’t know why the boss said he could be the next Paul Scholes though. Not the way to remove pressure from the youngster, is it.

    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2012/Sep/Nick-Powell-discusses-progress-at-manchester-united.aspx?pageNo=1

  10. Marq says:

    I think DDG, Buttner, Cleverley, Anderson, Hernandez & Welbeck are certain starters, its anybody’s guess for the rest of the team

  11. DiegoForlanDK says:

    really hard to predict this line-up. don’t think fergie & phelan will throw in 11bench players. yet, spurs is only 3 days away, so obviously, some sure starters won’t be in there tonight. eager to see a lot of our young blood, but really hoping to see tunnicliffe and lingard in action. On the other hand, we have some starting 11 contenders who need minutes under their belts, such as ando, fletch and hernandez. I reckon fergie will give them a run out to ensure they are fit and ready should we encounter more injuries in our current starting 11.

    usually I would assume Fergie would play Amos in this sort of game, but the fact that DG haven’t played for some matches now speaks against this in my mind.

  12. DiegoForlanDK says:

    forgot amos out on loan

  13. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Marnick vermijl is surely ahead of veseli? I can see him at right back. The central defence could be the issue tonight. They may lack experience but michael keane and wooton looks like they’ll be thrown into the deep end, they’ll either sink or swim against a strong newcastle team. Buttner will get the left back berth, a huge test for him.

    The midfield will be chosen from fletcher, cleverley, anderson, nick powell, jesse lingard & ryan tunnicliffe. Larnell cole and petrucci could feature but not as starters. Good blend there of younger and experience. I hope fletch comes through and boost our midfield.

    We have talented younger midfielders, hopefully they express themselves.

    As for the strikers, macheda and hernandez may start, welbeck might get the nod though. None of them have had regular games, less so in macheda’s case, time he steps up. Angelo henriquez could make the bench too, hoping to show us his qualities against a top side. Joshua king will be in contention too, he deserves an opportunity.

    We’ve got an abundance of talent, mostly huge potential. I’m hoping they fulfill it.

    Finally, we could be in for a suprise, rooney might start this game, a good game to bring him back into.

  14. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Kanchelskis. My understanding is that Vasseli started as a CB but is being played at RB in the Reserves. He has featured regularly since U15 level for Switzerland and has made a few U20 appearances already. Seems to be getting good reviews from those who watch him. I have never seen him so can’t comment other than he has decent reviews.
    At 6.0 he is a smidge taller than Phil Jones’s 5.11. Still a bit short of what you want in a CB, but could do in a pinch.

  15. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Marnick vermijl is surely ahead of veseli? I can see him at right back. The central defence could be the issue tonight. They may lack experience but michael keane and wooton looks like they’ll be thrown into the deep end, they’ll either sink or swim against a strong newcastle team. Buttner will get the left back berth, a huge test for him.

    The midfield will be chosen from fletcher, cleverley, anderson, nick powell, jesse lingard & ryan tunnicliffe. Larnell cole and petrucci could feature but not as starters. Good blend there of younger and experience. I hope fletch comes through and boost our midfield.

    We have talented younger midfielders, hopefully they express themselves.

    As for the strikers, macheda and hernandez may start, welbeck might get the nod though. None of them have had regular games, less so in macheda’s case, time he steps up. Angelo henriquez could make the bench too, hoping to show us his qualities against a top side. Joshua king will be in contention too, he deserves an opportunity.

    We’ve got an abundance of talent, mostly huge potential. I’m hoping they fulfill it.

    Finally, we could be in for a suprise, rooney might start this game, a good game to bring him back into…..

  16. DiegoForlanDK says:

    reckon we’ll play giggsy or scholesy from the get-go to get the experience and calmness on board.

  17. samuel - united WE stand says:

    altyred – take responsibility? What, are you going to take nature to court and sue it or will you decapitate the players bodies from their head and take them to court or will you behead the medical staffs? Who’s taking responsibility for natural injuries?

  18. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Samuel. Could be mate, it should be either Veseli or Vermijl. Vermijl just played 5 days ago and had a great game for the reserves, so could be.

    Toss up for me.

  19. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Fletch – vermijl has impressed with his attacking play but he’s also assured in defending. Big game to make the step up and will be a test. Veseli has struggled for a starting role, even at reserves level, shows where he’s level’s at, question mark over his ability to make the next step up but I hope i’m wrong.

  20. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Off topic:
    Important Read: Mike Riley explains tackles and Cards in the EPL

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19707057

  21. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I don’t know but I find it more exciting watching united’s younger players make the break through, more so than watching a marquee signing. These guys will be filled with talent, hunger, exuberance, determination, fearlessness and fight. They symbolise manchester united and we should encourage them for the continuation of club’s philosophy lies in their hands.

  22. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but I find it more exciting watching united’s younger players make the break through, more so than watching a marquee signing. These guys will be filled with talent, hunger, exuberance, determination, fearlessness and fight. They symbolise manchester united and we should encourage them for the continuation of the club’s grand philosophy lies in their hands.

  23. perry says:

    Anyone seen the Liverpool Airport sign recently? Above the John Lennon quote…”Above us only sky”
    Some bright spark has added “Below us only QPR and Reading”

  24. belfast red. says:

    Wazza always shows up against the toon. Would like 2 see henriquez tonight as expectations are high for him. Have a feeling welbeck and Hernandez will be starting tho…

  25. Zibbie says:

    Game Day DVR is ON!!!!!

    Play the kids 3 old pros and people who need a game.

    Pippo Inzibbie ???? Sooner then later

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2012/09/26/3403833/sir-alex-ferguson-finalising-manchester-united-succession

  26. Corea says:

    Keane should have played against Fulham, if not Everton.
    Giving him a run against Newcastle ? No brainer.
    Ideally we bring all of the youngsters and go to the next round but it isn’t possible i am afraid. So keeping some kind of a balance is important. Crashing out from this stage would been zero chance for our youngsters getting minutes this season.
    I just really hope i am wrong and it isn’t the case.

  27. Corea says:

    *would mean

  28. Doghouse says:

    Giving some of the kids and peripheral players a run out is the only move to make at this point. Definitely need to rest our main defenders too.

  29. belfast red. says:

    Evans needs wrapped in cottonwool him and rio. Tough choices for Sir alex tonight..

  30. Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson says:

    So if Tony is indeed out, would that perhaps mean moving Nani to his more natural position and placing DannytheLad as the other winger? After all, Young is out, too.

    This might actually get Nani back to form–playing on his favorite side. Silver lining perhaps?

  31. Redbilly says:

    Arthur – hope nano plays and covers tony’s spot. Great opportunity to gain some confidence .

  32. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Some history of tonights game from lads in the United press room:

    Magpies haven’t won at Old Trafford since 1972. That’s a run stretching back 29 games. What’s more, the only other occasion they came here in the League Cup was in 1976 when they were on the wrong end of a 7-2 thrashing. (NC)

    http://www.manutd.com/en/Fanzone/News-And-Blogs/2012/Sep/today-at-old-trafford-manchester-united-blog.aspx

  33. Proverb says:

    Play some experienced players aka
    Evans, evra, scholes, nani, hernandez….
    Cause not playing them might not be the solution, I know we have a game vs spurs, but this guys can easily injure themselves at training

    VIEWS FROM THE FANZONE
    Is it just me or is anyone else concerned at the number of injuries we seem to be getting in last few years the injury list is endless surely this isnt just being unlucky and it must be down to the training regimes. Esp because alot of the injuries seem to come during training how many other clubs have a list of injuries like us i bet not many if any at all!!! people rant on about needing to sign players but lets be honest we now have a good squad but still we are patching together a starting eleven. IMO these injuries could cost us another title we cant challenge if we havent got our main players playing week in week out as the team will never gel, i no i am no football coach but it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see there must be something wrong. Anderson, Jones, Smalling, Rio, Evans and Rafeal never seem to have a good run of games along with Vidic, Rooney, Young and fletcher being ropey this season i am not sure how we will compete in all cups. Consistancy is key for success in football and we dont have that, opinions please PS- I should have to say this but if your thinking of ranting at me for having a opinion keep it to yourself

  34. berbgreaves says:

    Can’t believe no one has mentioned BEBE yet.

  35. lordrt says:

    If Rooney does play today then there is definitely something wrong with the medic staff… Hoping for the Red Devils to qualify to the next round even with a 1-0 win or a 2-1.

  36. Corea says:

    @Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson – i would say play Kagawa on the left and Rooney RvP upfront.
    Nani on his natural position would give us a hell lot more benefits.

  37. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Proverb – if we aren’t concerned then what fans doing?. I can’t even conjiure up a decent answer to your “rant” brcause you’ve lost me.

  38. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Please Fergie give Henriquez some game time. Maybe 20 mins?. I have a feeling he’s a pretty good player. Also hope to see cleverly, anderson, fletcher, Welbz, Hernandez, Buttner, Keane, Lingaard, Petrucci.

  39. UtdWeekly says:

    Hopefully Nani AND Fletcher start!

  40. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Proverb – if we aren’t concerned then what are fans doing?. I can’t even conjure up a decent answer to your “rant” brcause you’ve lost me.

  41. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Proverb – if we aren’t concerned then what are fans doing?. I can’t even conjure up a decent answer to your “rant” because you’ve lost me..

  42. Proverb says:

    Haha sam, keep it to yourself :D
    Just kidding…. Lol

    November doesn’t come soon enough, the new nmedical centre will help address our injury problems.

  43. utd will never die says:

    Seems a no brainer blood the kids with a mixture of first team players who need game time don’t want to be risking anyone who’ll likely play this weekend

  44. Proverb says:

    What about
    DeGea

    Buttner. Keane. Wooton. Evans

    Nani. Scholes. Anderson. Bebe

    Tom cleverley.
    Welbeck/hernandez

    I’m not quite sure about bebe, but like he did in africa he could turn up to be the saviour again who knows
    Let’s throw them young lads in its those kind of games that will provide them with some experience.

  45. Nesh says:

    some game time for Ando and hoping a 90 minute appearance from Powell.

  46. Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson says:

    @Redbilly & Corea

    Agreed, gentlemen. Put Nani in for Tony.

  47. altyred says:

    @samuel: I’m just saying so many players get mystery injuries in training and then almost inevitably overrun their recovery timetable – perhaps they need to look at the training regimen or something because with the amount of players getting injured outside of games it’s not working on that level at least. Plus players seem to be rushed back from injury and develop serious setbacks – see Cleverly last season and Vidic just recently. I just worry that Fergie’s loyalty to the medical staff may be misplaced, it’s getting to the point where a key player gets seriously injured every couple of weeks..

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