Manchester United v Rochdale: Five things we want to see
Manchester United take on Rochdale this evening as we kick off our Carabao Cup campaign.
Tuesday night saw mixed results for Premier League sides, with Tottenham crashing out to League Two side Colchester. United can take nothing for granted.
Here are five things we hope to see at Old Trafford this evening…
A heavy United win
This might go without saying, as we should want this at all times. Tonight it is very possible.
United have made hard work of playing against lower league opposition recently, even dating back to Fergie’s days. Remember Exeter?
Just last week United should have rolled Astana over in the Europa League, and laboured to a 1-0 win with a late goal.
Wouldn’t it be nice if tonight’s game is straightforward, and gives fans a lift, and the team some vital momentum for next Monday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal?
Gomes to back up his words
Angel Gomes is likely to start for United this evening for the second home game in a row.
He told United’s website he is looking to stamp his authority on the team, after showing a few bright touches a week ago.
He said: “I really don’t want to just see myself as a young player coming up now. I want to impose myself and impose what I can do, and not just show the fans but show the club what I am here for really.”
Lets see if he can follow through and show that he is ready to become a regular starter at first team level.
United’s squad cannot afford to be stretched much further than it already is in attack.
That’s why Solskjaer may play safe and rest Mason Greenwood and select Jesse Lingard up front, with the youngster currently the only fit striker at the club.
Playing Marcus Rashford last week could have contributed to his injury against West Ham.
Dan James was also nursing an injury heading into the West Ham game and was not at his best. Hopefully he will get a rest, and United can win while keeping key players fresh.
Signs of class from Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba is expected to play this evening, if not as a starter then he will get minutes from the bench.
He may be rusty after injury but he still should be far too good for Rochdale.
It will be great to see him playing with swagger and getting involved in the attack, scoring and creating goals.
This will be the ideal warm up for the fixture with Arsenal on Monday and getting him ‘tuned up’ is crucial.
Garner and Chong seize their chances
James Garner is in line to potentially make his first United competitive start.
He has been terrific for the under-23s this season and it would be great to see him step up and express himself.
United need new options in midfield. Garner’s breakthrough could be a huge help to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Tahith Chong didn’t exactly light up Old Trafford against Astana last week when he got his chance. Luckily he has an opportunity to bounce straight back.
We want to see him show what he is really capable of and demonstrate that he can rise to the challenge of contributing for the first team.
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