Preview: Manchester United seeking to lock the Rams out of the Emirates FA Cup at Pride Park; Ighalo, Martial and Fernandes key to this

Derby County -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

Pride Park, Derby

Thursday 5 March 2020, KO 19:45 GMT

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Ian Hussin, Daniel Robathan Fourth Official: Lee Mason

Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action on Thursday evening as they travel to face Derby County at Pride Park. Phillip Cocu’s side will be seeking to do what they did under Frank Lampard – beat United and earn a quarter-final place in the tournament this season. However, at Pride Park, United have a good record, winning in their last two visits, losing in the one before which was about a decade ago.

Solskjaer will be hoping that United do better than they did against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, coming away with a point after a 1-1 draw, which could have easily been a defeat for United with VAR cancelling out a late winner for the home aide. VAR will not be involved at Pride Park on Thursday though. United need to ensure their eight match unbeaten run continues ahead of Sunday’s test.

United will be back in Premier League action this weekend with Manchester City travelling to the Theatre of Dreams for the second Manchester derby (in the league) this season, effectively the fourth derby of the season with the Carabao Cup matches included. A win against Derby will keep the belief high and despite winning at the Etihad twice this season, doing it at home will be more important.

Form: United unbeaten in their last six matches, winning three times and drawing three times. Derby not in great form with two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six matches.

Manchester United: DWWDWD

Everton 1-1 D, Club Brugge 5-0 W, Watford 3-0 W, Club Brugge 1-1 D, Chelsea 2-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D

Derby County: WLDDLW

Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 W, Queens Park Rangers 2-1 L, Fulham 1-1 D, Huddersfield Town 1-1 D, Bristol City 3-2 L, Swansea City 3-2 W

Top Scorers: 72 goals scored for United this season with Derby managing just 51 goals in all competitions. Could Rooney score against United? Fernandes to steak the show again?

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 15 – Anthony Martial, 11 – Mason Greenwood, 4 – Scott McTominay, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Odion Ighalo, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United have done well recently, sitting eight matches into an unbeaten run which has seen them add some pressure on Chelsea for a place in the top four this season. In those eight matches, United have scored 19 goals, conceding two goals, and keeping six clean sheet. United need to keep pushing on, stopping the draws, with three of them in the last eight matches. This match will be crucial, as will the matches for the rest of the month with United also heading back into the UEFA Europa League.

Derby County Goals: 12 – Martyn Waghorn, 9 – Tom Lawrence, 8 – Chris Martin, 4 – Jason Knight, Wayne Rooney, 3 – Duane Holmes, Jack Marriott, 1 – Jayden Bogle, Lee Buchanan, Matthew Clarke, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Malone, Jamie Paterson, Graeme Shinnie, Andre Wisdom

Derby have not been in great form recently. They currently sit in thirteenth place in the Championship table after 36 matches, winning 12, drawing 12 and losing 12 matches this season. In their last six matches, two wins, two draws and two defeats puts them in mixed form. However, Derby has scored 11 goals, conceded 10 goals, keeping no clean sheets, which could be problematic for them against the likes of Ighalo, Martial and Fernandes, not to mention Mason Greenwood, if he gets the opportunity to play in this match.

Team News: Rashford, Pogba and Grant out of action for the Derby match whereas Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah and James could be back in the squad.

Heading into the match against Derby, United have just three players on the sidelines through injury after Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah both returned to action for the U23s against Stoke City. Marcus Rashford (lower back), Lee Grant (wrist), Paul Pogba (ankle) will still be out of action. Daniel James (knock) could be fit in time to face Derby after missing the 1-1 draw with Everton.

Derby manager Phillip Cocu could still be without Duane Holmes (ankle), Ikechi Anya (calf), Krystian Bielik (knee), Tom Huddlestone (hamstring) for the visit of United to Pride Park but George Evans (calf) could boost the manager’s squad after seemingly recovering from his injury. Wayne Rooney and Tom Lawrence could both face their former club which could be a big night for them.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial and Ighalo leading the line, Fernandes in behind with midfield three of McTominay, Matic and Fred against Derby at Pride Park?

I don’t think Solskjaer will make many changes for this match, not in the starting XI anyway. United need to win to keep their hopes of a trophy this season alive. Odion Ighalo and Anthony Martial should lead the line with Bruno Fernandes in behind them. A midfield three of Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred would work like it did on Sunday. The four man defence of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka with Sergio Romero in goal.

Match Prediction: United looking to beat Derby after losing on penalties in their last match back in September 2018. United have not lost at Pride Park since January 2009.

United and Derby have played a total of 107 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 46 times, drawn 29 times and lost 32 times. United and Derby last met in the Carabao Cup back in September 2018, a 2-2 draw, 8-7 penalty loss in a match which saw Sergio Romero sent off and Lee Grant coming off the bench to make his first appearance for the club.

In the previous four matches, three of them in the Emirates FA Cup, another in the League Cup, United have won them all, scoring 13 goals, conceding four and keeping one clean sheet. The last time United were defeated at Pride Park was in January 2009, a 1-0 defeat in the League Cup with Kris Commons scoring the only goal of the game. United have been to Pride Park twice since (2009 and 2016) winning both matches.

Derby County 1-3 Manchester United

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About editor 2136 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.