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League Cup

  • 30 November 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 52624

Manchester United - Crystal Palace Preview: Sir Alex Ferguson set to unleash young guns on Eagles

Manchester United - Crystal Palace Preview: Sir Alex Ferguson set to unleash young guns on Eagles


Paul Pogba, Ravel Morrison, Michael Keane and Larnell Cornell all set to be involved in League Cup quarter-final against Dougie Freedman's Championship challengers



Rafael, Smalling, Fryers, Fabio
Valencia, Pogba, Fletcher, Park
Diouf, Macheda

Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Moxey
Ambrose, Garvan, Dikgacoi, Scannell
Zaha, Easter

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to ring the changes for this quarter-final but it looks to be too soon for Danny Welbeck who is still suffering with a muscle injury and Michael Owen is definitely out with a thigh injury. Chris Smalling and Darron Gibson are back in contention for the Red Devils, with youngsters Paul Pogba and Ezekiel Fryers two fledglings set to start.

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman welcomes back influential midfielder Darren Ambrose but he will be without Dekel Keinan as he is cup tied after representing Cardiff in earlier rounds. Another loanee, striker Chris Martin, should be available but Jonathan Williams is still absent with a broken leg and Lee Hills and Alex Marrow are also out.

  • Sir Alex won his first major trophy at Manchester United when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in the 1990 FA Cup final replay.
  • Palace beat fellow Championship side Southampton in the last round, goals from Darren Ambrose and Jermaine Easter sealed a 2-0 victory over the league leaders.
  • Manchester United cruised through to the quarter-finals with a 3-0 victory over League Two side Aldershot with goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia.
  • The last time the Eagles travelled to the North West they were beaten 5-2 in 2004, and weeks before they had lost the last League Cup encounter between the sides 2-0 with Louis Saha and Kieran Richardson getting the goals.
  • Dougie Freedman has been in charge at Selhurst Park since the start of the year. The 37-year-old is another Glaswegian manager and he’ll face the leader of that group in Sir Alex.
  • The two sides have met 41 times in their history and not surprisingly United have dominated the head-to-head matches with 26 wins, there have been nine draws and the Eagles have just six victories. In the League Cup this will be their sixth meeting and Palace have not won any of the previous five encounters.
  • Palace are a strong side away from home this season – they have won four out of their nine away games but only average one goal per game on their travels.
  • Although they have performed well in the Championship this season, the Eagles have not won since their victory over Southampton and have not scored a goal in their past five matches.
  • The average age of United’s sides so far in this competition has been 26 versus Leeds and just 24 against Aldershot. They won both games 3-0.
  • United will be without their top scorer in the competition, Michael Owen, but Palace will have theirs, Wilfried Zaha, available and keen to add to his three goals already.
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Players to watch

P. Pogba

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The young midfielder was signed from Le Havre in 2009 amid claims of tapping up from his former club, but he has settled in England and made huge strides towards the first team despite being just 19. He made his debut against Leeds earlier in the competition but has yet to start for the Red Devils.

W. Zaha

Position: Midfielder

Games: 3

  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
The 19-year-old is a Palace trainee who made first team debut in 2010 and went on to make 44 appearances for the first team last season. He has been an ever present this campaign scoring five goals and has become a U19 England international, making his debut against Germany in February.

Editor's Prediction

It’s hard to predict a game like this when the exact nature of Sir Alex ’s line-up is unknown. It will be a good test for the United youngsters against an improving Palace side under Freedman, but expect the home side to come out victorious.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Crystal Palace


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Crystal Palace FC Crystal Palace

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester United FC MUN
3 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Manchester United FC MUN
2 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Manchester United FC MUN
4 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY