Old rivals and new faces for Leeds tie

Manchester United visit Elland Road for the first time in eight years on Tuesday night, with Sir Alex Ferguson set to ring the changes for the Carling Cup third round tie with Leeds United. Yet, with so many young faces in the Scot’s first team it is Ferguson’s older hands that be asked to impress. And as well as local rivalry, the Reds have a minor right to wrong, with Leeds having emerged victorious from an FA Cup fixture at Old Trafford 18 months ago. A similar result is unthinkable for the 5,000 Reds expected at Elland Road.

In addition to familiar faces, such as Dimitar Berbatov, Park Ji-Sung and Michael Owen, Ferguson is expected to hand young Frenchman Paul Pogba a first start for United. The impressive midfielder led United’s Academy side to FA Youth Cup glory last season and the Scot expects to fast-track the talented teen into the first team picture this season.

Pogba missed United’s reserve win over Rochdale last week, and the Premier League fixture with Chelsea, but Ferguson expects to start the 18-year-old in the hostile Elland Road atmosphere. The début will vindicate Ferguson’s decision to retain Pogba at Old Trafford this season despite widespread interest from Championship clubs in a loan deal.

“He’s got a slight injury, it’s not too bad, though. So he wasn’t available for Sunday but he should be able to play on Tuesday and I intend to play him against Leeds United,” said Ferguson.

“It’s more difficult to loan a boy of 18 who’s come from France. We prefer to keep him with us until we find he’s mature enough to possibly go on loan. Maybe next year that could be an option but we’re definitely expecting him this season to stay with Manchester United.”

Leeds United versus Manchester United, Carling Cup, Ellend Road, 7.45pm, 20 September 2011.Ferguson has also included Tom Thorpe, Larnell Cole and Reese Brown from United’s reserve team in the squad to face Leeds but established first team player Michael Carrick believes the deep squad resources now at the Scot’s disposal mean that a more experienced side than many expected may turn out.

“The squad is so strong it has tended to be the younger lads that have played in recent weeks and they’ve done really well,” Carrick told MUTV.

“The team changed for Benfica but the experience that came in was something we have not seen for a while. We are well aware of what Leeds means. [It’s a big game] because of the fans and the rivalry over the years. I am sure the manager will pick a strong team. I’m guessing it will be a full house. It will be a nice hot atmosphere. It‘s not like there is a team for this or a team for that: whoever comes in isn’t going to weaken the team in any way. They just offer something different. It is a great option for the manager to have.

“Paul [Pogba] is a huge talent. He has trained with us a number of times, so we have seen quite a lot of him and he looks very promising. If he goes about things in the right way and gets a little bit of luck at the right time, he is going to have a bright future.”

Of those younger players who feature tonight veteran Ryan Giggs says it is not the talent but the attitude that will dictate whether the kids become United legends or a footnote in history. Indeed, under Ferguson’s stewardship players with, arguably, limited natural talent but huge desire have played hundreds of games for the club. For Thorpe, Brown, Pogba and Keane tonight is perhaps the first test of many to come.

“There are young players coming through at United but this is an important part of their career,” says the Welsh legend, now in his 21st season as a pro with United.

“When you look at the lads who came through in my age group, then those who followed – Wes Brown and John O’Shea, for instance – when they got their chance, they took it. Once you hit 17, 18 and 19, that is what you have to do. It doesn’t matter whether it is if you get a chance to train with the first team, or in a match as a substitute, you need to make an impact. You need to force the manager not leave you out of the next game. The majority have the quality. That is not really in doubt. The question is, do they have the desire and appetite to take it up a step more?”

There is little more incentive than an away fixture at Leeds, with whom the rivalry burns strong despite the Whites’ seven-year exile from the Premier League. For those youngsters blooded at Elland Road an intense atmosphere awaits, with Leeds supporters still celebrating the club’s FA Cup victory over United in January 2010. It is a rivalry as intense as any in the country.

Meanwhile, Leeds manager Simon Grayson is without defender Patrick Kisnorbo, who serves a one-match ban following his sending off against Bristol City. Grayson faces a major dilemma over his team selection, with a top-of-the-table clash against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Championship on Friday.

However, United’s outstanding recent record in the Carling Cup – winners in 2006, 2009 and 2010 – and strong starting line-up ensures the Reds start strong favourites to win. Yet, there is also a lesson in history: Coventry City became the last club from outside the top flight to knock United out of the Carling Cup in November 2007. Few anticipate a similar result Tuesday night.

Match Facts
Leeds United versus Manchester United, Carling Cup, Ellend Road, 7.45pm, 20 September 2011.

Likely Line-ups
Leeds (4-4-2): Lonergan; Connolly, White, O’Dea, Lees; Howson, Clayton, Nunez, Snodgrass; Keogh, McCormack. Subs from:
Rachubka, Bromby, Brown, Becchio, Forssell, Sam, Taylor, Bruce, O’Brien.

United (4-4-2): Lindegaard; Brown, Evans, Jones, Fabio; Valencia, Fletcher, Pogba, Park; Owen, Berbatov. Subs from: de Gea, Amos, Smalling, Ferdinand, Jones, Giggs, Evans, Diouf, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Young, Rooney, Hernandez, Macheda, Thorpe, Fryers, Cole, Keane.

Form
Leeds: DWLWW
United: WWWDW

Referee
Referee: Mike Jones (Chester)

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Comments

  1. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Looking forward to seeing Pogba… heard all the rumours, but haven’t seen much of him.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  2. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Looking forward to seeing Pogba… heard all the rumours, but haven’t seen much of him.

    After he’s experience a rocking Bellend Road full of cunts, he’ll know what it means to play for United

  3. myleftfoot says

    We may only be a “little old ” Championship team, but our “subs” (above) include Zak Thompson, out for six weeks, and David Somma, out for six months. Still, we don’t need fit players to turn you lot over again. By the way, nice language some of you. No wonder your loved by all!!!

  4. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    so we play the whippet breeders again tonight, hope our young team fuck them up.

    What is the best thing to come out of Yorkshire?
    The M62 to Lancashire.

    Why do people take a instant dislike to Leeds fans?
    Because it saves time.

  5. reddread says

    Commenter said:
    We may only be a “little old ” Championship team, but our “subs” (above) include Zak Thompson, out for six weeks, and David Somma, out for six months. Still, we don’t need fit players to turn you lot over again. By the way, nice language some of you. No wonder your loved by all!!!

    Ffs. It’s ‘No wonder you’re loved by all’, you silly Dirty Leeds man. It’s bad enough having to correct this lot’s spelling and grammar without having to do it for some sheep-shagging interloper as well.
    I would imagine the subs are wrong because Ed couldn’t be arsed researching them properly, as you lot mean less to us than we do to you. Bigger fish to fry, hence our playing Berbatov and the rest of the reserves.

    “The longbow beats the crossbow, my idiotic friend”

    LUHG

  6. han says

    Commenter said:
    Amos, Valencia, Fryers, Carrick, Fabio, Giggs, Park, Macheda, Diouf, Owen, Berbatov

    is that for real?
    ffs
    i hate to say this, but i find myself agreeing with unclecocksuckerfuckingsheepshagger

  7. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Commenter said:
    Amos, Valencia, Fryers, Carrick, Fabio, Giggs, Park, Macheda, Diouf, Owen, Berbatov

    I’m glad to see Jones get the day off; he’s been on the receiving end of some nasty tackles lately. Anyone got a stream?

  8. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Commenter said:
    click on stream 1. it’s on there.

    I did. All I get is a grey rectangle where the match should be and the comments box which is working.

  9. Snoopcousins says

    Diouf really does look crap…

    I’d like to see how Owen would perform in our first team with pacey players all around him…I reckon he could do v well

  10. bman says

    Nice one Giggsy. Haven’t seen much from Macheda. I’d like to see Pogba get a decent number of minutes on the pitch, or any of the other young lads.

  11. han says

    im actually surprised that leeds haven’t put more pressure on our non existent defence – just the 1st 5 mins when berbs had to clear off the line twice – if united really focus, the score could be pretty damning for them

  12. Sidsidney says

    Pogba has given the midfield some stability sitting so deep and playing it simple

    I’d like to see the rangey cunt bomb forward occasionally though

  13. dozer says

    Berbatov is pure class. Why doesn’t he play midfield more often? He can run the show.
    Edit: he can’t tackle though

    Sir Ryan Giggs? No no no. Sir Paul Scholes say.

  14. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    han said:
    how did this shower of shite beat us at OT last year?

    we took that game as a gimme, and never got going, no repeat tonight, leeds are rubbish, as it showed tonight.

  15. reddread says

    Young lad. Defender. Played for the reserves v Dirty Leeds tonight, alongside Giggs, Carrick, Owen, Berbatov and Valencia. I know you know that, but it just feels so odd to type!

  16. Bill says

    Fryers, Cole, R Brown, Thorpe, Keane M all involved last night and all Manc lads. Great to see. Cole looked for good technically when he came on.

  17. says

    I am thrilled at the way Ferguson’s experimental team selection really came off. Someone writing on the Guardian football site said that he believed that Fergie had really moved out of the box and was thinking aboiut the game in a very `post-positional’ kind of way and that this had a lot to do with our sensational early form, but also with what was in essence a very counter-intuitive melding of reserve team veterans and youth demolishing Leeds, not even leting them get into the game.As someone else posted on the same site: `Man U are becoming very scary’.

    I have been critical of Fergie thinking of him as stuck in particular mindsets and intractibly stubborn: but here it seems that he may (thinking of an analogy with Walter Bishop in Fringe)have opened a door to a new, alternate football dimension.

  18. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    From what I’ve seen in preseason and yesterday’s match, I think it’s time to find Macheda a new home. He’ll always be remembered fondly by United supporters for the two goals that helped United win its 18th while simultaneously denying Liverpool its 19th, but he just doesn’t seem to be progressing. He doesn’t have that ‘x-factor’; he’s neither particularly fast nor a great passer and, in the attacking third, he looks like a graduate from the Nani School of Decision Making. I don’t know that Diouf will ever be polished enough to be in United’s striker rotation, but he is faster and stronger on the ball than is Macheda; I’d rather see him get those Carling Cup and UCL dead rubber games.
    I thought Pogba looked at least two years away from the first team. Sir Alex seems to be planning to keep him around the big boys this season before loaning him out to, I presume, a Premiership side in the next. That should do the trick.

  19. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    RobDiablo said:
    From what I’ve seen in preseason and yesterday’s match, I think it’s time to find Macheda a new home. He’ll always be remembered fondly by United supporters for the two goals that helped United win its 18th while simultaneously denying Liverpool its 19th, but he just doesn’t seem to be progressing. He doesn’t have that ‘x-factor’; he’s neither particularly fast nor a great passer and, in the attacking third, he looks like a graduate from the Nani School of Decision Making. I don’t know that Diouf will ever be polished enough to be in United’s striker rotation, but he is faster and stronger on the ball than is Macheda; I’d rather see him get those Carling Cup and UCL dead rubber games.

    I thought Pogba looked at least two years away from the first team. Sir Alex seems to be planning to keep him around the big boys this season before loaning him out to, I presume, a Premiership side in the next. That should do the trick.

    i think you are mostly right Rob, however i think Pogba is closer than you think tbf…maybe 12 months

  20. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    captainhormone said:
    i think you are mostly right Rob, however i think Pogba is closer than you think tbf…maybe 12 months

    I’d be very happy for that to be true, but I’m predicting two years because I think it will be very good for him to practice with the first team while continuing to play in the Reserve’s matches before going on loan to a mid-table Premiership side. The practices will help him grow in skill and confidence, while dominating in the Reserves will give him the right kind of mindset for the midfielder we all expect him to become. A year starting for a Premiership side will add seasoning and mental toughness. It isn’t enough that he gets to be as good as Carrick, Park, or Fletcher, he needs to become a Robson or a Roy Keane. Then, if Cleverley continues to improve, United will be have the midfield to challenge for the Champions League title in earnest.

  21. dozer says

    Diouf is the kind of player I’d want to bring on as a sub when United are losing against a better team or when things aren’t clicking. At least we can lump it into the box and he’s very effective in the air; he’s got a great leap that lad and he’s got skill.

    This scenario will be rare but in the Champions league, it’ll be useful.

    Macheda looks useless to us, he seems to have stagnated.

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