Thursday 28 January 2016

Match preview: Derby v United

The Reds travel to the ipro Stadium to face Championship high flyers Derby in the FA Cup at the end of another troubled week for United and Louis van Gaal. 

Van Gaal was in a tetchy mood with the media in his Thursday press conference, saying that a defeat at Derby tomorrow would see him sacked for the "fourth time". 

The Dutchman said: 

"This is the FA Cup, like every major club in England it is very popular and everybody has the ambition, so it's important as it's another title and we have to give everything for that for the fans also.
"I have never mentioned anything about me leaving this club, I think that you make your own stories and it is awful and horrible that you can do this.
"It is the third time I am sacked and I sitting here- now I cannot lose any more as I shall be sacked for the fourth time. 

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phil Jones are both doubtful, Matteo Darmian is ruled out but Michael Carrick is ready to return and could feature in.

Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are still absent with long-term injuries. 

The Rams have been the second tier's nearly men for the past two seasons having lost in the play-off final in 2013/14 and then a late slump into eighth place last season saw them miss out again.

They have bolstered their attack for their promotion charge this time, though, and boast a wealth of attacking talent in the ranks including former Aston Villa duo Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann and leading scorer Chris Martin.
Paul Clement's side sat top of the Championship on Boxing Day, but successive defeats and two points from five games since then has checked that momentum and leaves them fifth after a heavy 4-1 reverse at promotion rivals Burnley last time out. 

Form goes out of the window in the Cup though and Derby will fancy their chances of an upset against a ragged United side coming off the back of a poisonous home defeat to Southampton at the weekend.
With a potential Wembley cup final only five wins away, victory over the promotion-chasing hosts would serve as a welcome boost for Van Gaal's side. 

Friday night's fourth round tie will be the first these two have met since the fifth round of this competition in 2008/09 when United ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at Pride Park. 

Form guide: Derby D L W D L L United D W W D W L
Match odds: Derby 11/4 Draw 12/5 United 11/10
Referee: Anthony Taylor 

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