Friday, February 27, 2009

Carling Cup Preview

With the club out Europe, we turn our attention to Sunday's Final against United, and from there we concentrate on consolidating our place in the league, and ensuring survival. You can see that I thought of our performance, which I was pleased with, in the Player Ratings post.

Sunday is a massive contest, as we all know. Making it to Wembley is something special, and this is the second year running we have made it to a Final. I am hopeful we can pull out a victory, it would boost morale throughout the club and give us another trophy, and help us qualify for Europe yet again. Last year's victory didn't act as the springboard for form in the league like it should have, but I have confidence this weekend.

Cudicini, Palacios, Chimbonda, and Keane are all ineligible for the Final, since they have played in the competition with their former clubs as we know, so it will fall to the players who've been here all season to come through for us.

With Huddlestone playing last night, I don't think he is going to start, but could be used as a substitute. Jamie O'Hara and Dos Santos both had good performances last night, especially the well-struck goal from Giovanni so I expect O'Hara to play some role, and Gio may now make the bench.

I think that we are going to see a 4-5-1 formation deployed by Harry, in hopes of controlling the midfield, and because of a lack of strikers that we have available for the Final as well, since Frazier Campbell cannot play against his parent club. If Ledley passes his fitness test, I would expect to see him lead the side out, though I think Dawson deserves to play some role with all he is given to the club this season, but the club needs a win, so sentimentality can't play a role.

From what I've read, Sir Alex is not going to risk too many of his first team players, with how many competitions they are in and maintaining the pole position in the League as well. The right back Rafael is out with an ankle injury, so I would not be surprised to see Gary Neville play and captain the side as he has travelled to London with the club. Here is what I think the squads will be, let me know what you think might be the lineups for Sunday's Final.



Corluka, Woodgate, King, BAE

Lennon, Zokora, Jenas, Modric, Bentley


Substitutes: Alnwick, Bale, Dawson, Huddlestone, O'Hara, Dos Santos, Bent

Manchester United


Neville, O'Shea, Vidic, Fabio

Gibson, Carrick, Fletcher, Welbeck



Substitutes: Foster, Ferdinand, Evra, Giggs, Scholes, Park, Rooney

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