Big Wins Abound
Manchester United welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Old Trafford in this midweek Carling Cup tie. Both United and Wolves enjoyed wins at the weekend, boosting both squads for this encounter that could provide some excitement.
Manchester United overcame cross-town rivals Manchester City 4-3 courtesy of a late, late winner by Michael Owen. The super-sub’s first goal at Old Trafford won’t soon be forgotten, in what many are calling one of the greatest Manchester derby’s of all time. Sir Alex Ferguson was noticeably pleased when Owen scored the winner nearly seven minutes into stoppage time, but the Scot will be hoping the same won’t be required when Wolves come scratching at the door.
Mick McCarthy’s side enjoyed a considerable win over Fulham at the weekend, bringing victory to the Molineux for the first time in the Premier League this season. Several key figures returned to the squad from injury including last season’s leading scorer Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, while Kevin Doyle looks to build off an impressive performance against Fulham.
Wigan 0-5 Manchester United (EPL)
Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal (EPL)
Tottenham 1-3 Manchester United (EPL)
Besiktas 0-1 Manchester United (CL)
Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City (EPL)
Manchester City 1-0 Wolverhampton (EPL)
Wolverhampton 0-0 (6-5 pens) Swindon Town (League Cup)
Wolverhampton 1-1 Hull City (EPL)
Blackburn 3-1 Wolverhampton (EPL)
Wolverhampton 3-1 Fulham (EPL)
Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to name a modified squad from the one that lined-up against Manchester City.
The likes of Danny Welbeck and Darron Gibson are likely to get a chance to impress against Wolverhampton.
Michael Owen could also receive a starting birth after coming on to win the Manchester derby through his late heroics.
Squad: Foster, Kuszczak, Neville, O'Shea, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Valencia, Anderson, Carrick, Fletcher, Gibson, Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Berbatov, Owen, Welbeck.
Richard Stearman and Andrew Surman are injury doubts ahead of Wolves encounter with United at Old Trafford.
Stearman has sustained an ankle injury in training.
Similarly, Surman is waiting on news from a knee injury he picked up in training.
Squad: Hennessey, Hahnemann, Ikeme, Foley, Berra, Stearman, Zubar, Craddock, Elokobi, Hill, Kightly, Halford, Surman, Henry, Milijas, Castillo, Jones, Edwards, Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake, Maierhofer, Keogh, Vokes, Doyle.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
While many Manchester United players shined in the Manchester derby, Rio Ferdinand suffered through a forgettable performance that saw him at fault for at least one of Manchester City’s goals. After just recently returning from injury, it will be interesting to see how long it takes the England international to find his form again.
Striker Kevin Doyle looks to finally get his Wolverhampton career going after leading Wolves to a win over Fulham at the weekend. The former Reading striker looked to be struggling for form under Mick McCarthy, but Wolves fans will be hoping the Fulham win is a sign of good things to come.
As Manchester City found out last weekend, it is never easy to play at Old Trafford, even when the visiting team is able to score three goals.
Mick McCarthy’s side are more than capable of pulling out an upset, and it must be noted that United have already fallen this season to Premier League newcomers Burnley. While Wolves are capable, the fact that United have won the League Cup two out of the last four seasons might dent their chances of securing an upset.
Even though Ferguson is expected to name a slightly younger side, it is hard to bet on the reigning Premier League champions being dumped out of the League Cup at this stage in the competition at home.
McCarthy’s priority this season is undoubtedly to keep Wolves in the Premier League, meaning a second-string side could be produced for the trip to Old Trafford, giving United an unquestionable advantage in this encounter.