Manchester United won the Carabao Cup – previously known as Carling Cup or League Cup – last season, and will try to defend their crown this year. And the first opponent seems easy, at least on paper. United will kick off their campaign in the third round of the tournament against Championship side Burton Albion at Old Trafford. Kick-off is scheduled at 20:00 BST. Graham Scott will be the referee.
Burton have been slightly inconsistent to start the season, but appear to be trending in the right direction. They dropped their first three Championship games, but have claimed eight points out of a possible 15 over the last five matches. But even on that scenario, we can’t hide the fact that they have just two wins in eight matches. That alone makes United the favourite by a wide margin.
It is worth mentioning that United will play against Burton for the third time in club’s history. The two previous games came in 2006 in an FA Cup third-round tie. Burton held on for a scoreless draw at home, but The Red Devils took care of business in the replay with a thumping 5-0 win. Louis Saha, Kieran Richardson, Ryan Giggs and a brace from Giuseppe Rossi brushed the Brewers aside.
There will be a few absences for Burton in this one. Liam Boyce is out injured, while deadline-day arrival John Brayford can’t play in this tournament. However, recent absentees Hope Akpan and Matty Palmer could be in line to make a return to action.
United will look to extend their undefeated run at home. They are coming off an impressive 4-0 win over Everton, and are yet to concede a goal in the Theatre Of Dreams this season.
In fact, Manchester United have played four home matches this term and have won them all while keeping four straight clean sheet. They started the year with a 4-0 win over West Ham, then proceeded to a 2-0 win over Leicester and a 3-0 victory over FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League before Sunday’s win over The Toffees.
Jose Mourinho is likely to field an alternative side for this contest considering United are in the midst of a seven-game stretch in 22 days in three different competitions.
As a result, the Portuguese manager will rotate the side considerably. David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic will get some much-needed rest. Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on the other hand, are out due to injury. Therefore, names such as Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling, Sergio Romero and Ander Herrera are likely to appear in the starting XI come Wednesday time.