Preview: Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United prepared ahead of Carabao Cup opener


Manchester United -v- Burton Albion

Carabao Cup 2017/18

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 20th September 2017; KO 20:00 BST

Live on Sky Sports Football HD

Manchester United will be pitted against Championship side Burton Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford. It will be the third consecutive match at the Theatre of Dreams with United scoring seven goals without reply in the previous two matches. This season at Old Trafford, United have a 100% record, winning every match, not conceding a solitary goal, which is a good sign with Jose Mourinho and his players looking to return the stadium to the fortress that was under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson. United sit in second place in the Premier League this season, level on points and goal difference with Manchester City, who top the league, based on alphabetical order. Nigel Clough’s Brewers sit 19th in the Championship, four points ahead of the drop zone – losing two, winning two and drawing two of their last six matches.

United will be looking to head into the fourth round of the league cup this season, defending the trophy they beat Southampton for at Wembley in February with Zlatan Ibrahimovic doing the business to ensure United had won their first major trophy under Mourinho, adding to that at the end of the season with the UEFA Europa League being lifted at the Friends Arena in Stockholm in May. United are far from the finished team Mourinho intends to build but the season so far has shown what the side is capable of and that should give Burton a bad feeling ahead of Wednesday’s match. United have faced Burton twice before, in the FA Cup, so there is some history between the two sides with Burton savouring the visit to the Theatre of Dreams eleven years from their last visit.

Previous Matches: A 0-0 draw and a third round replay in the FA Cup at Old Trafford show the history between United and Burton Albion

Manchester United and Burton Albion have played two matches in the history of the clubs back in January 2006. United draw Burton in the FA Cup third round, playing at the Pirelli Stadium. Sir Alex Ferguson rested some big names for that match with 18-year-olds Giuseppe Rossi and Gerard Pique, 19-year-old Ritchie Jones, 20-year-old Phil Bardsley and 21-year-old Kieran Richardson all starting the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Louis Saha, John O’Shea, Mikael Silvestre, Wes Brown and Tim Howard were the experienced members of the team in that match with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo both coming off the bench with a 0-0 draw the result. The Brewers earned an FA Cup third round replay at Old Trafford which was played ten days later. The result there was much different with United scoring five goals without reply with Saha, a brace from Rossi, Richardson getting on the score sheet and Ryan Giggs with the other.

Form: United have had a great start to the season, scoring goals aplenty

Manchester United started the Premier League season strongly with three victories in the first three matches; West Ham United 4-0, Swansea City 4-0, and Leicester City 2-0 scoring ten goals in the opening matches without reply. After the international break, United travelled to the bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City, dropping their first points of the season in the 2-2 draw but still sitting at the top of the Premier League tables based on goal difference. This weekend, after a positive result in the opening UEFA Champions League clash with FC Basel, a 3-0 victory, United continued their run against Everton, beating them 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday, keeping their dominance going this season.

Burton Albion have played eight matches in the Championship this season, losing the first three against Cardiff City (1-0), Hull City (4-1), Middlesbrough (2-0), winning the fourth match, a 2-1 victory over Birmingham City. A 1-1 draw followed against Sheffield Wednesday then a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Leeds United. A 0-0 draw with Norwich City came before their second Championship victory, a 2-1 scoreline against Fulham. In the Carabao Cup, Burton have been involved since the first round; beating Oldham Athletic 3-2, then Cardiff City 2-1, setting up the tie with United at the Theatre of Dreams, their biggest match of the season so far, possibly the biggest they will play all season.

Team News: Luke Shaw could be back in the Manchester United first team against Burton Albion

Jose Mourinho could have Luke Shaw back in his side after he was left out of the U23 squad which drew 2-2 with Chelsea on Monday evening. It would be the perfect match to give Shaw the time to find full fitness, with the CSKA Moscow match next week being another, leaving him out of a return to former club Southampton this weekend but Jose Mourinho may have other ideas. United have only Paul Pogba, who is out for an unspecified period of time, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines, which after their lengthy injury lists of the past few seasons, is a good sign of things to come. United have done well without some crucial players this season, which will strengthen the side when they are all fit and raring to go. Mourinho could include the likes of Scott McTominay in his squad on Wednesday evening, which would allow Marouane Fellaini and co to have a break with Michael Carrick maybe playing his first match of the season.

Predicted Starting XI: McTominay and Shaw to get a look in as Mourinho rotates against Burton Albion?

Match Prediction: Manchester United to take control of Carabao Cup third round tie with Burton on Wednesday

Manchester United 5-0 Burton Albion

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