A beleaguered Manchester United side find themselves nursing wounds as they prepare to host an injury-riddled Newcastle United in a midweek Carabao Cup clash.
The Red Devils endured a painful 3-0 defeat at the hands of their cross-town rivals, Manchester City, in a match where they were clearly outmatched and outplayed. The glaring chasm between the two clubs was on full display, witnessed by millions of viewers. Under the management of Erik ten Hag, Manchester United appear to be miles away from posing a genuine threat in the league. It’s conceivable that this competition represents their sole realistic opportunity for silverware this season.
Ten Hag pointed to a pivotal penalty awarded against his team in the City match, but the gap in quality between Manchester United and the likes of City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and possibly several others is seemingly insurmountable for a club that perennially finds itself mired in crisis.
Nevertheless, their encounter with Newcastle presents a golden opportunity. The Magpies are grappling with a severe injury crisis, with a bench that included two goalkeepers and five full-backs out of the allowed nine in their recent match against Wolves, which ended in a draw.
Newcastle will likely be without the services of the injured Elliot Anderson, Alexander Isak, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes, Sven Botman, Lewis Miley, and the suspended Sandro Tonali. Eddie Howe may opt to field a youthful lineup, considering upcoming crucial fixtures against Arsenal at home and a Champions League rematch with Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
Bookmakers’ odds reflect Manchester United as favorites, with bet365 offering odds of 11/10 for a Red Devils victory and 5/2 for a Newcastle United win.
In recent head-to-head encounters, Manchester United triumphed over Newcastle in the final of this competition last year. However, the Magpies managed a 2-0 victory on their home turf and secured a goalless draw at Old Trafford. It’s worth noting that Newcastle hasn’t tasted victory at Old Trafford in a decade.
Two players to keep an eye on are Rasmus Hojlund, who has yet to find his stride at United following his £72 million summer transfer but has notched three goals in European competition; he’s priced at 2/1 to score anytime. On the other side, Callum Wilson, who netted a brace over the weekend at Molineux, is available at 11/4 to score anytime.