Manchester United return to action in the F.A. Cup this evening and the occasion is something of a rarity as they are not being shown on the BBC for the first time in what seems an eternity. Tonight sees them play host to Derby Country at Old Trafford.
The two teams met as recently as January 2016 with them being paired together in the fourth round of the competition at Pride Park. In what was then a team being led by Louis Van Gaal it would be United who would win 3-1 that night and eventually go on to win that edition of the competition.
This time around it is Jose Mourinho and Gary Rowett that will go face to face with the United boss knowing that he cannot take tonight’s opposition for granted especially with them currently lying second in the EFL Championship behind runaway league leaders Wolves.
Gary Rowett’s men come into this tie having been unbeaten in their last seven Championship outings and the Derbyshire outfit will look to take full advantage of what is likely to be a well changed Manchester United starting eleven this evening.
Sergio Romero will don the gloves tonight with David De Gea rested, Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini are available after injury but whether the Belgian pair will be given a run out remains to be seen, if it was going to be any of the two then it would more likely be Fellaini.
For Derby former Manchester United Tom Lawrence is a concern with a hip injury and may well miss out on the chance to go up against his former club while there is also doubts regarding the midfield pairing of Joe Ledley and Bradley Johnson.
Manchester United finally broke their run of draws on Monday night with a well earned win over Everton at Goodison Park with goals coming from Anthony Martial and the in form Jesse Lingard and this could well be an opportunity for them to cause the oppositions defence some trouble.
Jose Mourinho’s men were recently dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Championship opposition after a dramatic 2-1 defeat to Bristol City at Ashton Gate, so the last thing they will be looking for is another cup upset in quick succession.
The fact that they have home advantage this time around will stand them in good stead but this does have the makings of a cup tie. I do think United will progress to the fourth round but I don’t think they will necessarily have it all their own way. Both teams to score but a home win in the end.