Capital One Cup: Red Devils tackle Tractor Boys at Old Trafford
Manchester United welcome Championship outfit Ipswich Town to Old Trafford for the first time since September 2001, and will be looking to continue their recent rampant home form over a side they haven’t lost to in almost two decades.
In that previous visit to the red half of Manchester, the Tractor Boys suffered a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, thanks to goals from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Andy Cole, though they are 4/1 with Coral to cause an upset.
Louis van Gaal’s hosts are the odds-on 2/5 favourites to coast to their fourth home win of the campaign, having gone unbeaten with three victories and a draw so far at Old Trafford, and the Dutchman faces a rematch with an old foe in Mick McCarthy.
Ipswich boss McCarthy guided his former Republic of Ireland side to a shock triumph over Van Gaal’s then-Netherlands squad during a World Cup qualifying clash in 2001, which ultimately led to the Dutchman’s sacking from his first spell in charge.
The Barnsley-born Irishman will once again come into a similar scenario, with his underdogs aiming to overcome seemingly superior opposition, and he is hoping his players can mount a challenge in difficult surroundings during midweek.
“I am looking forward to Old Trafford. I haven’t had too many results there, probably none, and it is still a special place,” said McCarthy, who featured more than 100 times for United’s neighbours Manchester City as a player.
“It is one of the best clubs in the world with an amazing stadium to play at. Of course, it is almost impossible to try to blank that out.
“We will get taken on the coach right into the ground, you can see the size of it all, the players know the history of the club and all of their players, then when they go out onto the warm-up our lads will see the surroundings. It either frightens you or inspires you I guess, so let’s hope it inspires our guys.”
McCarthy was appointed as Ipswich boss in November 2012 and took his side to the play-off semi-finals last season, with his main attacking threat at Old Trafford set to once again be Freddie Sears. The former West Ham United prospect has twice been on the losing side against the Red Devils in his career, but is 7/2 to add to his four season strikes anytime in 90 minutes.
Just over 12 months ago, Van Gaal named his first-ever League Cup team, a starting line-up which was scattered with youngsters and eventually humiliated 4-0 by a then-League One based MK Dons.
The Dutchman could again field some of his young guns, including rapid forward James Wilson for his campaign debut, and the 19-year-old is 7/2 to net the game’s final goal in normal time.
With such a dominant home record so far held by United, Van Gaal will be desperate to keep that intact and avoid a potential upset at Old Trafford, as he tracks down his first piece of silverware for the club.
Betting tip: James Wilson to score last in 90 minutes @ 7/2