The result of the weekend will still be in the mind of every red as the Capital One Cup tie with Liverpool approaches this Wednesday evening. These heavy defeats come rarely for the Red Devils but they do occur, what’s important now is for everyone at the club to react in a fashion appropriate to the defending Premier League Champions.
In recent years this tournament has been looked upon as a chance for the younger players in the United ranks to get a chance, after the weekend opinions about this tournament may have changed. A win against Liverpool will do little to alter the complexion of loss against City, but it could be very important for building confidence again.
David De Gea put in an awful display against City at the weekend and I would expect that he will be looking for a much better performance against Liverpool on Wednesday, a clean sheet could do wonders for the confidence of United’s number one.
The defence will likely get a reshuffle, Evra, Ferdinand and Vidic have played every game this season so far and a rest may be the best thing. I would expect Fabio to deputise for Evra, with Evans and Smalling starting in the centre. The right of the defence is as always a good question, Rafael and Jones have both been training with the first team for over a week now and this might be the perfect game for them to get some time ahead of a Premier League return at the weekend.This fixture would seem perfect for Rafael’s return.
I would usually expect Michael Carrick to be the first name on the sheet in the midfield but with this being a Capital One Cup match and Carrick having played every match this season, I would expect him to get a rest for this one. Tom Cleverley and Anderson will likely get a chance to stake a claim at a starting place in the first team before the weekends clash with West Brom.
After poor performances from Young and Valencia at the weekend I think Moyes will give Nani and Zaha starts. It’s been almost two months since Zaha made his last appearance in the Community Shield against Wigan, but with the tough start to the season this was to be expected. This could be the perfect chance to give the young winger a chance to show why he’s arrived for £10 million (possibly rising to £15 million). Nani should get a chance against Liverpool too with not many other options available to the Manchester United manager.
Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie playing in this game would seem unlikely, the importance of these two to United’s season will mean it would be a gamble Moyes will be unwilling to make. Van Persie missing the weekends fixture against City with a thigh strain would spell a new pairing up front. Kagawa played last week against Bayer Leverkusen and looked positive for sixty minutes before being substituted, if Rooney doesn’t play then this seems like the perfect opportunity to play him in his preferred position just behind the striker.
Leading the line I would guess will be Hernandez, minimal game time so far this season would make you wonder whether the Mexican will become disgruntled and start to think a move away from the club may be the best for his career. Danny Welbeck didn’t cover himself in glory at the weekend, he tried hard but didn’t seem to have enough to cause the City defence any problems. This would make me think Welbeck will likely have a spot on the bench and Chicharito will make his first start of the season.
Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Fabio;
Zaha, Cleverley, Anderson, Nani:
Liverpool will assuredly give United a stern challenge on Wednesday night; whether it be Premier League, Capital One Cup or even a friendly, games between the two are generally fiery occasions.
While this game has taken on more importance because of the result at the weekend, it’s important to remember that this is still at the bottom of the list of trophies Manchester United will be chasing this year and that may have the biggest influence on the team selection.
Who would be in your starting XI to face Liverpool? Comment in the section below.