Thursday, 25 January 2018

Match preview: Yeovil Town v United

12 time FA Cup winners United head to Huish Park to take on the lowest ranked side left in the competition in a classic David vs Goliath cup tie. In a repeat of our third round meeting in 2015, the Reds face Darren Way's Glovers - 21st in League Two - for a second time in three seasons with a mammoth 86 place gap between us in the football pyramid. On that occasion under Louis van Gaal, goals from Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera saw off the challenge of a Yeovil side who were then in League One under the stewardship of Gary Johnson on our first visit to the Somerset side for 120 years. Despite their position near the foot of the fourth tier this time, the Reds cannot take the hosts for granted as we look for a fifth successive win to continue our unbeaten start to 2018.

This match marks a double celebration for Jose, fresh from signing a contract extention until 2020, on the occasion of his 55th birthday and 100th match in charge of the team. He looks set to name a near full-strength side for the trip to Somerset, with Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Michael Carrick the only absentees. Alexis Sanchez looks set to make his eagerly anticipated debut for United after Jose confirmed that the Chilean will be in the squad. He missed Arsenal's 4-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest and so is eligible for the FA Cup - but the likelihood is that he will begin this one on the bench. For Yeovil, boyhood United fan Otis Khan cruelly misses out through suspension after an altercation with a referee in last weekend's loss to Chesterfield.
Jose said: "We want to win of course. We know what cups are, Manchester United played this team a couple of years ago and won, but they know the difficulties they felt.
"So we will go with a very strong team, we will rest a couple of players and there are a couple of problems we try to resolve, with problems for the next Premier League match and also Champions League. But we will see a strong line - up. In big clubs there will always be responsibility, you have to perform always and go to every competition in a serious way so that is what we will do."

Threatened by the prospect of relegation to the National League, Way's side have already proved to be giant killers on route to the fourth round for only the second time in their history. They've already knocked out Port Vale and division higher duo Southend United and Bradford City to set up this lucrative money-spinning meeting with Jose's United. Their manager Way, in the hotseat since December 2015, said: "I don't think we could pick anyone better to go up against in the world we live in at the moment. It's going to be a magical, incredible day and one that no-one at this football club will ever forget."

Friday's tie at Huish Park gets fourth round weekend underway at 1955 and its live on BBC One.

Form guide: Yeovil Town L L W W D L United D D W W W W
Match odds: Yeovil Town 50/1 Draw 25/4 United 1/4
Referee: Paul Tierney (Wigan) 

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