Thursday 24 August 2017

Holders United to face Championship opponents in Carabao Cup

United will begin their defence of the EFL Cup with a home tie against Nigel Clough's Burton Albion side in the third round.

The Reds welcome the Championship outfit to Old Trafford in one of eight ties that will see top flight clubs take on a second-tier team.

It will be the Staffordshire side's first meeting with United for 11 years.

In the 2005/06 season, the Brewers - then plying their trade in the Conference -  earned a lucrative Old Trafford replay (following a 0-0 draw) against a United side that featured Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men proved too strong in the replay, however, and ran out 5-0 winners with goals from Louis Saha, Giuseppe Rossi's brace, Kieran Richardson and Ryan Giggs. 

Nigel Clough was in charge of The Brewers  then and -  now back for his second spell at the Pirelli - guided them to survival in their first ever Championship campaign last time out. 

Albion overcame League One Oldham and divisional rivals Cardiff City to reach the third round, but have won only one of their four games in a testing start to their league season. 

United won the EFL Cup, now known under its baffling new guise of the the Carabao Cup, (just why?) with a 3-2 victory over Southampton in a thrilling Wembley final last season to give Jose his first major silverware as our manager. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard put us 2-0 ahead before Saints hit back through a Manolo Gabbiadini double, only for Zlatan to pop up with the headed winner three minutes from time. 

There will be no repeat this time, though, as the runners-up were dumped out at the first hurdle after a shock 2-0 home loss to Championship Wolverhampton.

Newcastle's disappointing start to the new season continued as they also fell victim to division lower opposition.

Nottingham Forest went through after extra-time 3-2 to condemn Rafa Benitez's side to an third straight loss and set up a plum tie at Chelsea.

Elsewhere, there are four all-Premier League ties, as Crystal Palace host Huddersfield and Bournemouth host Brighton in a South Coast derby.

Liverpool travel to Leicester City in the round's most attractive-looking fixture, and West Bromwich Albion host Manchester City at the Hawthorns.

The 16 fixtures will be played in the week commencing 18 September.

Carabao Cup third round draw

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
Everton v Sunderland
Leicester City v Liverpool
Manchester United v Burton Albion
Brentford v Norwich City
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Bristol Rovers
Burnley v Leeds United
Arsenal v Doncaster Rovers
Bristol City v Stoke City
Reading v Swansea City
Aston Villa v Middlesbrough
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town
Tottenham Hotspur v Barnsley or Derby County (yet to be played)
Bournemouth v Brighton&Hove Albion

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