Monday, October 22, 2018

Prediction: Manchester United vs Derby

Tom Dunstan in FA Cup, Free Soccer Predictions 5 Jan 2018


Verdict: Manchester United win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 5/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

For the third-round of this year’s FA Cup, Championship promotion hopefuls Derby County will travel to Old Trafford to face off with a United side who will now see the FA Cup as their most likely chance to lift a piece of silverware this season.

Manchester United

For Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side, the Red Devils will be desperate to start the new year afresh. After going on a four-match winless run, during the back end of December, Mourinho’s men were back to winning ways on New Year’s Day. After a shock upset saw them lose 2-1 to Championship side Bristol City in the EFL Trophy, United went on to endure three consecutive draws against Leicester, Burnley, and Southampton. United’s 2-0 win away at Goodison Park earlier this week has helped stabilize their top four dreams. Picking up three vital points against Everton has seen the Red Devils jump back into second place in the table. Now 15 points adrift of runaway league leaders Manchester City, United’s hopes of lifting a 14th Premier League title are all but gone. Although their Portuguese tactician may have had his sights set on a more lucrative piece of silverware, the FA Cup is now United’s best chance to lift a trophy this season. Although United’s problems may have been dropping silly points against lesser opponents, United are still unbeaten at Old Trafford this season.

Team News

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero will start for Manchester United against Derby, while Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini are available for Friday’s FA Cup third-round clash at Old Trafford. Lukaku could feature six days after coming off on a stretcher against Southampton following a clash of heads, with midfielder Fellaini set to return having been out since November.

Michael Carrick is back training but will not be considered and Antonio Valencia is still at least a week away, so they will remain on the sidelines along with the suspended Ashley Young and injured Eric Bailly.


Although the Rams may be stepping up from the Championship for their FA Cup third-round clash, Garry Rowett’s side should not be overlooked. Currently sat second in the Championship table, Derby have their sights set on securing an automatic promotion spot come May. Picking up a 1-1 draw against fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield United on New Year’s Day, the Rams are now unbeaten in their last seven appearances. A decade out of the Premier League, Derby’s promotion push has been epitomised by the form of 25-year-old Matej Vydra, with 14 goals so far, the Czech Republic striker is the second top scorer in the Championship this season. Traveling to Old Trafford on Friday night, although the Rams may have only progressed past one opponent from a higher division in their last 15 attempts, Rowett’s side should be confident about putting up a respectable performance. Away from Pride Park this year, Derby are unbeaten since September and have managed to find the net in 15 of their previous 17 matches.

Team News

Derby forward Tom Lawrence, a former United youngster, is a concern with a hip injury.

Midfielders Joe Ledley and Bradley Johnson (back injuries) are doubts.

Key Factors to Consider

  • This will be the 10th time these two sides have been drawn together in the FA Cup, meeting as recently as January 2016 – with Man Utd winning 3-1 at Pride Park in the fourth round.
  • Manchester United have lost just one of their last 35 FA Cup games against lower-league opponents at Old Trafford (W28 D6) – losing 1-0 to Leeds United in January 2010.
  • The Rams have only progressed past an opponent from a higher division in one of their last 15 FA Cup ties – beating West Brom at the Hawthorns at this stage last season.
  • Manchester United haven’t lost to two different sides from outside the top flight in a single season since 1983/84
  • Derby have not lost a match away from home since September 2017.


As the Manchester United boss has shown during his tenure in the Premier League. Mourinho is not afraid to field a team glittering with stars for the earlier rounds of the FA Cup. With Romelu Lukaku expected to return to United’s XI on Friday night, the Red Devils will be desperate to avoid any major slip-ups. Still unbeaten at Old Trafford this year, United remain firm favorites to progress to the fourth-round. Although we expect United to book their spot in the next round, Derby will be hopeful of putting up a resilient effort. Unbeaten away from Pride Park since September, Derby should ask some questions of a United defense that have conceded seven goals in their last 6 matches.

Verdict: Manchester United win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 5/4

Bookmaker: Bet365


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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