It’s judgement day for Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal as his side travel to New Meadow to face League One side Shrewsbury Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Recent rumours have surfaced that the Dutch coach could lose his job if the Red Devils fall short to the Shrews, but given United’s recent form, defeat on Monday night could be a reality.
Formbook suggests an upset is likely
Their crucial cup clash comes just days after a humiliating Europa League defeat to Danish outfit FC Midtjylland, and United’s woeful away form could well go against them at a time where they need a result the most. Van Gaal looks like a man on the brink. Rumours about his future continue to make the headlines, and he was faced with the news that Jose Mourinho was being lined up to replace him, according to an Inter Milan director.
Such speculation doesn’t help him or the team during their preparations, and players have already warned of a potential upset if they’re not at their best against Shrewsbury. It’s sad times when individuals are panicking ahead of a clash against a League One outfit, but sums up just how far United have fallen. The formbook suggests an upset is on the cards too.
Shrews shouldn’t be underestimated
Shrewsbury have impressed in the FA Cup this season, beating the likes of Gainsborough Trinity, Grimsby Town, Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday to make it this far, and they’re sure to give it their all to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals. Home advantage could play into their hands given United’s poor form on the road too, as well as the atmosphere the fans are likely to create.
Manchester United having dropped points in six of their last seven away games in the Premier League, while suffering a large-scale injury crisis, are all the ingredients for a shock result. The pressure on United will see their supporters incredibly impatient the more the game goes on, and in truth van Gaal is in a lose-lose situation.
He won’t get credit for a victory over a League One side, but he’s sure to be in an untenable position should United fall short. Shrewsbury are desperate to take advantage of all the furore heading United’s way, and have already delivered a scalp in the competition in the previous round. Shrewsbury are 17/2 to win against Manchester United on Monday night. Can they deliver?