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League Cup

  • 26 October 2010
  • • 20:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 46083
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Manchester United - Wolves Preview: Michael Owen set for rare start in second string showdown at Old Trafford

Manchester United - Wolves Preview: Michael Owen set for rare start in second string showdown at Old Trafford

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United

In a sign of the times for Michael Owen, the ex-England striker can expect to be involved from the start while the rest of Manchester United's star names stay at home.

Javier Hernandez's stellar beginning and Federico Macheda's rise has forced the 30-year-old to regularly miss the cut for the 18-man Premier League match day squads. If manager Sir Alex Ferguson goes for an adventurous selection, Owen can expect to partner the Italian up top.

With injuries aplenty out wide, Gabriel Obertan should follow his substitute appearance against Stoke City with a role from kick-off. On the opposite flank, Bebe could be handed his first start for the club since his surprise summer transfer.

The highlight of the evening for the United faithful could be the long-awaited return of Owen Hargreaves. The midfielder's second - and rumoured final - comeback after a two-year injury nightmare could begin in earnest.

Probable starting XI: Kuszczak; Rafael, Smalling, Brown, Fabio; Bebe, Gibson, Anderson, Obertan; Owen, Macheda.

Wolves

Coach Mick McCarthy was slammed for selecting a top flight second string at Old Trafford last term but will cope no flack for the same trick in the League Cup.

The players who performed so admirably in defeat to Chelsea will be told to put up their feet. McCarthy's refusal to sanction a loan exit for Wayne Hennessey will see him replace veteran goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.

Injury hit summer signing Steven Mouyokolo could also be handed a rare start after he made the substitute's bench at Stamford Bridge. Perennial reserve George Elokobi could also fit in at the back.

Stephen Hunt may be given more minutes under his belt after the fellow new boy came off the treatment table to feature at the weekend, while United youth product Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will be given a run out on his old stomping ground.

Probable starting XI: Hennessey; Stearman, Mancienne, Mouyokolo, Elokobi; Foley, Jones, Milijas, Hunt; Ebanks-Blake, Bent
.

Search for silverware

It will never take pride of place in the United trophy room, but the League Cup has been kind to the club.

Ferguson's men have lifted the trophy in the previous two seasons, with Tottenham and Aston Villa beaten in the finals. The victory against the Midlanders prevented a potless campaign, with the latest defence kicking off in free scoring fashion against Scunthorpe United.

Wolves began in the competition by making hard work of League One outfit Notts County. A late Nenad Milijas penalty saved defeat before they ran rampant in extra time to claim a 4-2 win.

History repeating?

Wolves and United met in the third round 12 months ago, with a repeat result for the hosts on Ferguson's mind.

The match winner that day, Danny Welbeck, is now plying his trade on loan at Sunderland so a different second choice centre forward must come to the fore. After he netted a brace against Scunthorpe, Owen could be that man.

Wolves haven't tasted victory in the fixture since Kenny Miller stunned United with a famous goal in a 1-0 league victory in January 2004. The Theatre of Dreams has been even less charitable, with no win recorded in nearly 30 years.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
40Ben AmosGoalkeeper
5Wes BrownDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
35Fabio Da SilvaDefender
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
4Darron GibsonMidfielder
25Gabriel ObertanStriker
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
27Federico MachedaStriker
33BebeStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
21Rafael SilvaMidfielder
15M. EikremMidfielder
11Robbie BradyMidfielder
2Gary NevilleDefender
14Javier HernándezStriker
49Ravel MorrisonMidfielder
26Wayne HennesseyGoalkeeper
32Kevin FoleyDefender
16Christophe BerraDefender
-Steven MouyokoloDefender
3George ElokobiDefender
7Matthew JarvisMidfielder
3Michael MancienneDefender
19David JonesMidfielder
18Stephen HuntMidfielder
9Sylvan Ebanks-BlakeStriker
9Steven FletcherStriker
24Marcus HahnemannGoalkeeper
4David EdwardsMidfielder
5Richard StearmanDefender
37Jelle Van DammeDefender
7Nenad MilijasMidfielder
23Marcus BentStriker
29Kevin DoyleStriker
Players to Watch
Gabriel Obertan
Gabriel Obertan
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 25
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After he initially appeared to be a player of great promise, a decline in form and fitness in the second half of last season saw Gabriel Obertan drop out the first team picture. With United down to the bare bones out wide, an excellent display on Tuesday night could see the Frenchman thrust back into his manager's thoughts.
Wayne Hennessey
Wayne Hennessey
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 26
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Wayne Hennessey has been consigned to the sidelines since he flapped his way through the early months of his Premier League career. With the ageing Hahnemann sure to be rested, the Wales international should get a rare opportunity between the sticks to stake his case to McCarthy.

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