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U21 Preview: Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United – Lancashire Senior Cup

Manchester United’s U21 side face Blackburn Rovers in the Lancashire Senior Cup at Leigh Sports Village this evening. United beat Accrington Stanley 4-2 is the last round of the tournament after conceding twice with Will Keane scoring a hat-trick and James Weir scoring the fourth goal. United’s second string has done well this season, losing only one match, against Leicester City a few weeks ago. United currently top the Barclays U21 Premier League table, on goal difference over Manchester City, which at this stage of the season is a good thing, but in the local and regional cup tournaments, is it a complete different game, with both teams looking to capitalise on earning a place in the next round to try and secure that trophy for their club.

Warren Joyce could be bolstered with Jonny Evans in his side this evening, after he continues to prove himself fit after a lengthy injury, which will be a boost for the first team, who currently have Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo on the sidelines. First team manager Louis van Gaal suggested that Evans would be given a ‘run out’ this evening, so I would suggest that would be a certainty. There may be a few more surprises with other players looking to gain match fitness after injury, but that would be at a push I reckon. Young Manchester United striker Will Keane is still playing at the best of his abilities, scoring five times already this season, competitively. He played in a behind closed doors friendly against Blackpool last week, scoring United’s only goal in the 1-1 draw.

The match this evening will be shown on MUTV here in the UK from 18:30 GMT (kick off 19:00 GMT). Leigh Sports Village is the current home stadium for both Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers U21 sides, so it will be more of a home match for each side. The winners of the match will face Wigan Athletic in the semi-final of the competition, with a draw going to penalties after 90 minutes. Blackburn Rovers beat Preston North End in the last round of the competition to earn their place in this quarter-final. Blackburn Rovers have won one of their last six matches, with United winning four of their last six, which will make them favourites for this fixture, but anything can happen. I believe United will be in that semi-final fixture against Wigan Athletic.

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Manchester United U21 Form: DLWWWW

Chelsea 1-1 D, Leicester City 3-2 L, West Ham United 2-1 W, Accrington Stanley 4-2 W (LSC), Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Sunderland 4-0 W

Manchester United U21 Goal Scorers:

6 – James Wilson, 5 – Will Keane, 4 – Adnan Januzaj, 2 – Tom Lawrence, 1 – Own Goal, Josh Harrop, Paddy McNair, Andreas Pereira, Tom Thorpe, James Weir

Blackburn Rovers U21 Form: WLDLLL

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-2 D, West Bromwich Albion 2-2 D, Arsenal 0-0 D, Reading 1-0 L, Stoke City 5-2 W, Middlesbrough 3-1 L

Blackburn Rovers U21 Goal Scorers:

3 – Modou Cham, Jordan Preston, 2 – Connor Mahoney, Dean Rittenberg, 1 – Devarn Green, Sam Joel, Yann Songo’o

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Final Score:

Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Manchester United

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