Newcastle head to Old Trafford this evening to take on Manchester United in this Capital One Cup 3rd Round tie.
The attendance is not expected to be too high for this match. Not only is it a midweek game that is more than likely going to feature two weakened sides, it’s also being shown live on Sky. Add to that the fact that Manchester United (with the approval of Newcastle) are charging an eye-watering £45 for a ticket for the match and it all adds up to a low crowd.
The Red Devils owe Newcastle one after last season. The Magpies earned four points from the two league meetings between the sides with the help of a dubious penalty at Old Trafford (one for the away side for a change!) which was enough for a 1-1 draw. However the hosts for this evening can have no complaints about the reverse fixture as United (the real one) blew them away 3-0 a St James’ Park.
Fabricio Coloccini and Cheik Tiote are back in contention for a start tonight. Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor and Tim Krul are all still sidelined.
Alan Pardew will also return to the touchline after serving the last of his two game touchline ban at the weekend against Norwich.
Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young could feature for the Red Devils. Darren Fletcher is also in line for a start following on from his return to action against Galatasary last week. The midfielder has been missing for almost a year due to suffering from ulcerative colitis. Nemanja Vidic is out after undergoing a knee operation while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are both out long term.
It remains to be seen just how strong a side both managers start with this evening. Alex Ferguson is known for playing “weaker” teams in this competition and is likely to give his fringe and reserve players a chance to impress.
Meanwhile Alan Pardew will have to balance his team selection. On one hand the team needs to be strong enough to win on the night, on the other hand he also has to keep players fit and fresh for Reading on Saturday. Will we see a side similar to the ones we’ve been seeing in the Europa League? Or will we go for it a bit and name our strongest side?
Aside from last season our record against Manchester United hasn’t been great. All in all there have been 155 meetings between the two sides and Manchester United have come out on top in pretty much exactly half of them (77 victories for the Red Devils). Newcastle meanwhile have won just 40 matches between the two sides.
In terms of the League Cup it isn’t great either, although admittedly there is a much smaller sample to choose from. There have only been two League Cup meetings between the two sides and both sides have come out on top once. Manchester United triumphed 7-2 back in 1976 with Newcastle managing to balance that record in 1994 with a 2-0 win at St James’ Park.
Stats and facts:
Newcastle have not won at Old Trafford for 40 years.
Newcastle have been knocked out of the League Cup by a team from the Premier League in seven of the last eight seasons.
Newcastle reached the final of the League Cup back in 1976. We lost 3-0 to Manchester City. Since then we’ve never progressed past the quarter final stages of this competition.
It’s going to be a tough game whatever side Alex Ferguson decides to play and whatever team we put out will have to be at their very best if they are to come out on top over the 90 minutes, or indeed extra time or penalties if they are needed.
Neither side have really hit their fluent best but anything can happen in cup football and on the night you just never know. I just hope we go to Old Trafford and give it everything we’ve got as this is one competition that is actually winnable for a larger percentage of teams.
Howay the lads!
Date: Wednesday, 26th September, 2012
Time: 7:45pm – Live on Sky Sports
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester