Manchester United head into the start of the EFL Cup campaign after succumbing to a 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. United need to bounce back after such a disappointing performance against the Eagles. The players were lethargic, not pressing enough and moving the ball too slowly with the only bright spark in the game being Donny Van De Beek.
It will be a tough game against the Championship side on Tuesday and they will look to cause an upset. Luton are already in fine form early this season, winning all league games and EFL Cup ties so far. Luton Town are the underdogs going into this game but have a lot of confidence based on their good form.
Whilst United have one eye on Saturday’s league game away to Brighton, they must be focused. If United play like they did on Saturday, the first trophy that can be lifted this season cannot be ours. It will be good for both Ole and players if United go on to win this competition giving the fans a much-needed boost.
New signing, Donny Van De Beek, is likely to feature in this game as he builds up his playing time for the Red Devils after scoring on his debut. Ole reiterated after the match on Saturday that United need to improve the squad but first we must recover quickly in order to overcome both Luton and Brighton respectively.
We have won this competition five times, with the last triumph in the 2016-17 season when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winning goal in our 3-2 victory over Southampton. Last season, United reached the semi-finals of the competition only to be beaten by Manchester City 3-2 on aggregate.
Teams: Manchester United vs Luton Town
Date: September 22nd 2020 (Tuesday)
KO Time: 20:15 BST
Competition: EFL Cup
Stadium: Kenilworth Road
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Nathan Jones
Ole gave an exclusive update to the United website and confirmed he will be making changes to the side after the defeat against Crystal Palace. Ole said, “We’ll make some changes. Of course we will. For some, it’s the pre-season and, for some, they’ve only been here for a week now, for different reasons. Some of them need game-time, they do and we can see we’re lacking in sharpness. We just need to make the most of the training sessions and games we have.”
Dean Henderson is set to replace David De Gea as he looks to push for the number one goalkeeper spot. This will be his first senior appearance for United.
Wan-Bissaka and Matic were not fit to play on Saturday but are likely to feature in this game. There will be starts for Brandon Williams and Eric Bailly who also missed out. Harry Maguire is likely to keep his spot in the side as both Tuanzebe and Jones remain injured. Smalling and Rojo are unavailable as they continue to train alone.
Greenwood is set to be handed a starting spot on Tuesday night along with James who will move over to the left side of the attack having a disappointing time on the right against Palace.
Ighalo should start upfront and although he has not scored in any of the Premier League games he has featured, he has managed to get five goals in cup competitions (both the FA Cup and Europa League) last season. Amongst the substitutes, we may see Teden Mengi as he continues training with the first team and Jesse Lingard despite rumours suggesting a move to Tottenham is on the cards.
Our opponents Luton Town will not have the likes of Dan Potts, Brendan Galloway and Eunan O’Kane due to injury. It should be a similar side that played against Reading in round 2 of the competition. We could see our former player Ryan Tunnicliffe lined up against us in the midfield.
Man United form (all competitions): L
Luton EFL Cup form: WW
Luton form (all competitions): WWWW
Head to Head History:
United Wins: 28 (72%)
Luton Town Wins: 4 (10%)
Draws: 7 (18%)
- United last played Luton Town when we were both playing in the Old First Division where they drew 1-1 at Kenilworth Road.
- While Manchester United reached the semi-finals of last season’s competition, they have been knocked out by lower level opposition four times in the last six seasons.
- No current Manchester United player has scored more league cup goals than Marcus Rashford (7)
- Juan Mata is two goals away from scoring a half-century for Manchester United
Predicted Lineup: Henderson, Williams, Maguire, Bailly, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, McTominay, Van De Beek, Greenwood, James and Ighalo
This will be a tricky game for us and with Luton in such good form, we will have to be very wary of the threat they pose. Despite heavy rotation expected, there is still more than enough quality to overcome the Hatters and progress into the fourth round where United could face either Preston North End or Brighton.
Prediction: 1-3 to United