United - The Wolves Are Coming!
Tonight we continue the defence of the only trophy we managed to land last season - the Carling Cup!
The draw has been kind and given us a home tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a team who, last year, turned up with a starting eleven, for our Premier League game, that wasn`t a patch on their normal starting eleven and resulted in the club picking up a fine for fielding an under-strength starting eleven.
Their boss, the ex-City player Mick McCarthy, had chosen to rest his normal starting eleven in readiness for a crucial home fixture the following weekend. This time around though, McCarthy will be bringing a strong starting eleven to Old Trafford and on the eve of the fixture has spoken about just such, commenting,
"It will be a strong team out and when people see it I don`t think they`ll be thinking it`s weaker."
"There`ll be some changes because there`s a need for fresh legs - but it will still be a very good side."
"It`ll be far from a cagey team, I don`t think we will lose the faith. It`ll be players from my squad of 25 who are fit and ready to go."
"But I doubt Sir Alex will tell us his team - so I`m not going to tell him mine."
"If we play like we did at Chelsea on Saturday we`ll give ourselves a chance. Even Chelsea were saying we`d given them a tougher time than most teams."
"If that big result comes in the Carling Cup then let`s have it."
Clearly a change in attitude and having watched the highlights of Wolves attempts to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out, I can vouch that they have the ability to shock United if we`re not fully focused on the fixture.
At Chelsea, Matt Jarvis looked particularly dangerous with his ability to deliver pin-point crosses. Also in their ranks is Kevin Doyle, a striker who never stops trying and will harass the United defence from the first whistle until the last whistle.
Mick McCarthy`s side will also be boosted by the return of the England U21 player, Michael Mancienne. On loan from Chelsea he was unable to play against his parent club last time out.
As for United, Sir Alex will, obviously, take this opportunity to rest several key players. Already without long term injury victim Antonio Valencia, Wayne Rooney will also be absent as he recovers from his ankle injury in sunnier climes. We`d expect the ageing trio of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Edwin Van der Sar will also be rested whilst Rio Ferdinand may well make way for Chris Smalling. Up front, don`t be too surprised if Macheda starts and there may also be match-time for the youngster Bebe as well as Obertan.
As for a result, we reckon it`ll be a close fought encounter with Wolves proving to be resilient but we reckon United will just shade it to edge into the next round and continue their defence of the trophy!
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