The Reds welcome high flying, in form Championship Derby to Old Trafford for a League Cup third round tie on Tuesday night as Jose Mourinho bids to win the tournament for a record fifth time.
Frank Lampard has made a fine start to management, but it will take a
masterstroke for his division lower Derby County side to eliminate United at the first League Cup hurdle.
Mourinho and former Chelsea colleague Lampard won this competition together twice while
at Chelsea but the two men will now meet in opposing dugouts as managers
for the first time.
Mourinho said: "The attitude must be better, I did not like my team on Saturday, it's difficult to win when you are not there, when you are not in the match with everything you have. I am looking forward to going up against Frank (Lampard), of course we have a great relationship but we both forget that and do our jobs for our teams - it will be nice to see him again and go up against one of his teams, I respect him hugely and we have to make sure that we are better."
Despite the one division difference between the sides, United and Derby have become familiar foes in domestic cup competitions. We last met them at the turn of the year, a 2-0 FA Cup win at OT through Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku, as we did at their Pride Park home on our way to a then-record equalling 13th FA Cup success under Louis van Gaal in 2016, when the Reds prevailed 3-1 in the fourth round. The sides met in both domestic cups back in 2009, with United also running out winners on both occasions - 4-1 in the FA Cup and a 4-3 aggregate success in the League Cup last four - in our most recent meeting against the men from the Midlands in this tournament. So, a good record for the Reds against the Rams, then, and United will start this one as strong favourites but in cup football, of course, we can never take anything for granted.
Mourinho pretty much confirmed that Diogo Dalot will start the game
at right-back and following his debut performance last week against
Young Boys, United fans are excited about seeing him in action again. Mourinho is expected to name a much changed, but strong, Reds team with Nemanja Matic available again after his one match ban. Marcus Rashford completes his suspension and defensive duo Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo remain sidelined.
Ander Herrera trained on the Old Trafford surface following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves and is expected to be available again after an ankle injury.
For Derby, George Evans and Curtis Davies are unlikely to feature
while Ikechi Anya is definitely ruled out. David Nugent usually starts
up front but Jack Marriott is being tipped to start this match ahead of the veteran striker. Former United man Tom Lawrence is also suspended.
While the visitors should give a good account of themselves, we expect United to do enough to progress to the next round. Should things be level after the 90 minutes, the tie will go straight to the lottery of a penalty shootout with extra-time having been scrapped.
Form guide: United L L W W W D Derby County W W W L D W
Match odds: United 1/5 Draw 11/2 Derby 12/1