25th September 2012
Capitol One Cup 3rd round has served us a real treat with in-form Manchester United set to take on very good Newcastle side at Old Trafford. Both sides may be deprived of their star players, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see a highly entertaining encounter in Manchester.
One would have to boast an extremely good memory to remember the last time Manchester United started the season with a bang, but the mere fact the Red Devils are once again recording very good results with pretty average performances speaks volumes about Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. United may be on a five-match winning run, but we have to say they were quite fortunate to record victories over Galatasaray and Liverpool, with a number of dubious refereeing decisions going their way. The League Cup clash against Newcastle will be a perfect opportunity for the young guns to prove their worth and maybe stake a claim for a regular starting berth, but Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney remain sidelined. Darren Fletcher, Nick Powell, Alexander Buttner, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez are all expected to start, while Nemanja Vidic is unlikely to be risked as he battles a knee injury.
Newcastle have been handed a very tough draw in the Capitol One Cup, but Alan Pardew’s side, nonetheless, arrives to Old Trafford in confident mood. Despite the pretty difficult fixture list, the Magpies have picked up 8 points from first 5 Premier League games, hinting they are ready to mount another serious top 4 challenge. On the other hand, the fringe players have done well to help the team qualify for Europa League group stages as well as bring one point from the away game against Maritimo, so this will be a new opportunity for them to give Alan Pardew a new selection headache. Senior players Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote are both expected to start as they look to build match fitness, while Papiss Cisse should also be in the starting line-up, with everyone at the club determined to help the Senegalese score his first goal of the season. Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Tim Krul, Demba Ba and few other starters will be rested.
With both sets of players determined to impress the two managers, there is every chance we will see a pretty open game at Old Trafford. Chicharito and Welbeck on one side and Cisse and Ameobi on the other should be enough to guarantee that we will see both teams score at least one goal each.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/5