Preview: Solskjaer’s squad set to build confidence against Rochdale or continue where they left off against the Hammers?

Manchester United -v- Rochdale

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 25 September 2019, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: John Brooks  Assistants: Nick Greenhalgh; Philip Dermott Fourth Official: Anthony Backhouse

Manchester United will face Rochdale in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad let the club down at the weekend with a poor 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United, the second defeat in a row at the London Stadium. After a lacklustre start to the season, something needs to change.

Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy is seeking to overcome a poor period for his team after a relatively good start to the season. This match against United could come at the right time for him to take advantage of a club in dire straits right now. United, however, could look to build some confidence in this match, which is what they need to be doing.

Form: United in poor form heading in Carabao Cup third round clash with Rochdale, who are winless in their last for matches themselves.

Manchester United: LWWDLD

West Ham United 2-0 L, Astana 1-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 2-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 D

Rochdale: LDLLWW

Fleetwood Town 2-1 L, Lincoln City 1-1 D, Peterborough United 6-0 L, Manchester City U21 2-0 L, Southend United 3-0 W, Carlisle United 2-1 W

Top Scorers: Both United and Rochdale need to find the art of scoring goals once again. Both clubs average around one goal scored per match played this season.

Manchester United: Daniel James and Marcus Rashford have scored three goals each this season in the seven matches the club has played.

Goals: 3 – Daniel James, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Anthony Martial, 1 – Mason Greenwood

This season is not the best for United. Since the opening weekend of the season, when they beat Chelsea 4-0, Solskjaer’s side has won two other matches (against Leicester City and Astana, both 1-0). In the Premier League, they have lost twice, won twice and drawn twice in the six matches played. This season needs massive improvement.

Rochdale: Callum Camps and Ian Henderson have both scored four times for Rochdale this season with the club playing 12 matches so far.

Goals: 4 – Callum Camps, Ian Henderson, 3 – Aaron Morley, 1 – Matt Done, Stephen Dooley

Rochdale had a good start to the 2019/20 season but recently, in September, they have not won a single match. Their last victory was in August, one of eight matches they played that month, beating Southend United 3-0 on the final day of the month. However, with United’s recent record, it might be a good time to visit the Theatre of Dreams.

Team News: Solskjaer to utilise youth in the Carabao Cup against Rochdale?

Solskjaer’s squad is still buoyed with injuries with Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah still recovering from knee surgery and Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial who are both out with thigh injuries. Mason Greenwood missed the defeat to West Ham United with tonsillitis. Paul Pogba might get some minutes against Rochdale, Marcus Rashford will be unavailable.

On Monday evening, United’s U23s were beaten 4-1 by Aston Villa. The notable absences from that match were James Garner, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and even Brandon Williams, who was suspended after being sent off in the last match. It is quite possible that youth could be used against Rochdale, which could be a blessing in disguise.

Rochdale will be boosted with the return of 39-year-old striker Aaron Wilbraham who had been out with a calf injury before the 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood Town at the weekend. Eoghan O’Connell could miss the game and former United youth player, Oliver Rathbone could feature in the Carabao Cup clash at Old Trafford.

Predicted Starting XI: Wholesale changes from the defeat to West Ham United; youth in the ranks once again?

Solskjaer will need to address some of the problems in this team. There is a massive void in terms of ability – and that is coming from some of the players that have been involved in the first team for a while now. There seems to be a lack of fight, desire, determination and more. This game will be a confidence booster, if United can get something out of it.

Match Prediction: One match played between United and Rochdale, at a competitive level, with United winning that game in 1986. What will this match bring for the two clubs?

United and Rochdale have met once in the history of both clubs. United won that match 2-0 which was an FA Cup third-round fixture played at Old Trafford on the 9 January 1986, before Sir Alex Ferguson managed the club. Mark Hughes and Frank Stapleton scored the goals in that match. United will need to show improvement in this match.

Manchester United 2-0 Rochdale

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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.