Manchester’s Old Trafford will be the site of the League Cup (Capital One Cup) fourth-round showdown between Manchester United of the English Premier League and Middlesbrough of the second-tier Championship League on Wednesday, October 28. United enters the game in fourth place in the EPL with 20 points from six wins, two draws and two losses with 15 goals scored and eight allowed. Middlesbrough sits in fourth place in the 24-team Championship League with seven wins, three draws and three defeats for 24 points. They’ve scored 20 times and conceded nine.
- bet365 currently lists Man United as the favorites at 4/9 with Middlesbrough 7/1 and a draw at 15/4
Manchester United vs Middlesbrough Head to Head:
- These two side have met 122 times in the past with United winning 62, losing 33 and drawing the other 28. Man United beat Middlesbrough three times back in the 2008/09 campaign when Middlesbrough was last in the Premier League. One of those wins was a 3-1 decision in the League Cup. United has also beaten Middlesbrough four of the last five times at Old Trafford including three in a row. Middlesbrough has beaten United just once in their past 14 meetings and that was a 4-1 Premier League victory back in October of 2005.
Man United is coming off of a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Manchester City in the Manchester derby on Sunday while Middlesbrough won 3-1 in Wolverhampton. United advanced to the fourth round of the League Cup by shutting out Ipswich Town at home in the third round while Middlesbrough beat Wolverhampton 3-0 in the third round and edged Burton and Abion 2-1 on the road in the second round. They started off the tournament by beating Oldham Athletic 3-1 away in the first round.
England and Man United captain Wayne Rooney just turned 30 years old and his goal scoring has dried ups far this season with just a pair of tallies in nine league outings. Manager Louis Van Gaal would be wise to start Rooney against Middlesbrough to try to build his confidence. United was embarrassed in last year’s League Cup competition as they were thumped 4-0 away by lower-league MK Dons. They made it all the way to the semi final of the cup the year before. United has just one win their past four games in all competitions.
Man United has won four and drawn one in their past five home contests, but haven’t been exciting the fans like they did in years gone by. Van Gaal will likely give some of his lesser lights some playing minutes in this game, so expect to see the likes of Michael Carrick, Daley blind, Memphis Depay, James Wilson and Jesse Lingard see some action. It looks like Antonio Valencia is doubtful though after suffering an injury in the Manchester derby.
Middlesbrough was knocked out of the League Cup in the fourth round in 2012/13 and is hoping to do better than that this time around. However, they have a tough task in front of them. They were knocked out of last year’s competition by Liverpool in a penalty shootout. Middlesbrough recently went through a three-game losing streak in which they were shutout in all three matches. They broke that streak on the weekend though with a 3-1 victory in Wolverhampton. Middlesbrough has three victories in their past five road trips, but have lost two of their past three.
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By Ian Palmer