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!
A live blog will be running on RoM for the game.