Manchester United v Newcastle: United's reserves to star in League Cup
Manchester United open the Capital One Cup with a tricky game at Old Trafford against Newcastle. Sir Alex would generally like to field a strong reserve side and he still will, just with a few more first team members perhaps.
Facing a Premier League opponent rather than a team from the lower tiers of English football presents a challenge in itself. The second is keeping in mind the fixture on Saturday against Tottenham. Sir Alex will achieve a good balance in his squad and United will be disappointed with nothing but a victory.
Winning the League Cup is not the priority, but that doesn’t make it unimportant. Ferguson has always used cup games as a way of giving younger players first team experience. Over the years several young talents have emerged in these games and it’s a good springboard. Expect Manchester United to ring in the changes; Ferdinand and Evra will most likely drop to the bench to make way for the like of Scott Wootton and Michael Keane, Büttner could fill in for Evra, or Tyler Blackett.
Sir Alex has said he will give Darren Fletcher a full 90 minutes which would be stunning for the midfielder, who is still working his way back from being sidelined for 10 months. Nick Powell will most likely feature, this being a good opportunity to follow up his debut against Wigan, while Macheda might start, his appearances seemingly limited to cup games.
I also hope to see Angelo Henriquez. The striker from Universidad de Chile has yet to feature for United’s first team and this could be his debut.
Cup games are a different animal from a Premier League fixture or a Champions League one. Alan Pardew has publicly stated that the league is his priority, the Capital One Cup last after the FA cup and Europa league. So expect Newcastle to ring in the changes as well, making this an interesting match to predict. Sir Alex is not afraid to rest his senior players in favor for the younger, more inexperienced members.
This is a chance for the fringe players and reserve players to make a statement in front of Ferguson and the fans at Old Trafford. With a disappointing run in both the FA Cup and the League Cup last year, Sir Alex won’t be happy with anything but a win.Calling all Manchester United fans: Do you agree with Alex’s views? How important do you think the League Cup is? Should Ferguson play the reserves against Newcastle? Whatever your views we’d love to hear from you.