Thursday 22 January 2015

Match Preview: Cambridge United v United, Friday 23rd January (19.55 kick off)

Who says the magic of the FA Cup is dead? This fourth round tie pits the 11 time winners against Cambridge United, a League Two side whose modest Abbey Stadium has a capacity of just over 8,000.

It is David v Goliath in every sense and epitomises why everybody loves the world's oldest domestic cup competition.

Robin van Persie and Luke Shaw are both fit to play and will be assessed in the final training session before Louis van Gaal makes a decision, but United are definitely without  injured trio Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Ashley Young.

Victor Valdes looks set to make his United debut and van Gaal could shuffle his pack and give outings to fringe youngsters Adnan Januzaj, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira.

It is difficult to preview a match against a side I know very little about, but I have a feeling that this will not be easy for United.
We will start as red hot favourites to progress to the fifth round, but the game will be played out in front of a capacity crowd and a worldwide TV audience.

Ex-Liverpool defender Richard Money's outfit sit in midtable (they are 12th in League Two) and reached this stage with wins over Fleetwood, Mansfield Town (after a replay) and Luton.
Strangely enough, there is a United connection within this current Us side- former Reds youth product Luke Chadwick currently plies his trade at Cambridge.

At his pre-match press conference on Thursday, van Gaal said: “For me this game is no different to any other: I will prepare my team for Cambridge like we prepared for QPR.
"In our mind we might believe we are facing a weaker opponent but still we have to beat them."
On Valdes: "I read that already he is picked, this is strange, I cannot answer this question.
"You will have to wait and see. I do not tell the media my line-up."

Form guide: Cambridge D L L W W W United W D D W L W 
Match odds: Cambridge 11/1 Draw 5/1 United 2/9
Referee: Chris Foy

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