Scunthorpe v Manchester United Preview: Strike The Irons

This is an old match preview. For the result and review of this match, see: Scunthorpe 2 United 5 – Cupset Diverted.

Manchester United travel to Glanford Park to begin their quest for their third consecutive Carling Cup title as lock horns with an unfamiliar opponent, Scunthorpe United, in the Third Round of the competition.

United have never met Scunthorpe in any competition, so it will be a bit of an mysterious match up for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, but the Reds should be in a buoyant mood after the way they beat their most-hated rival, Liverpool, in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

This competition has suited United very well in the past couple of seasons with the capture of the last two titles, but more importantly it gives Sir Alex Ferguson the option of utilizing his huge squad.

Fringe players like Federico Macheda and Michael Owen, who scored in last season’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in the final, will get a chance to hopefully give the United manager a selection headache for United’s next league match.

Anderson, who made a brief appearance against Liverpool at the weekend, will more than likely get his first start since suffering knee ligament damage last February.

The energetic Brazilian probably will partner with Darron Gibson in the center of midfield as the Irishman has been a constant fixture for United in this competition.

Ferguson has also admitted that he will give the United supporters their first glimpse at his unproven summer signing, Bebé.

The tall, strong center forward arrived at Old Trafford without the United boss even watching a clip of him play in a match, so his performance will definitely be dissected – and more than likely criticized – by the media.

This match will be Scunthorpe’s biggest-ever match and will be looking for a Premier League scalp.

United should be well aware of the appetite of the lower-level teams, because before winning back-to-back titles, the fell victim to both Southend United (1-0) and Coventry City (2-0) in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

Scunthorpe are currently in the npower Championship, which is the second tier of English football, but they just barely avoided being relegated by finishing 20th (out of 24) last season.

The Irons are not fairing much better this season and sit in 15th place after seven matches, and they are coming off a 2-0 defeat to Premier League hopefuls, Swansea City.

However, they have made it to the Third Round of the Carling Cup by knocking off both Oldham Athletic (2-1) and Sheffield Wednesday (4-2).

Chris Dagnall is Scunthorpe’s leading scorer with four goals – two in the Championship and two in the Carling Cup, with Jonathan Forte second in scoring with three goals.

Cliff Byrne is currently serving as the club captain, and the 28-year old defender is also Scunthorpe’s assist leader.

Out: A. Valencia (leg), O. Hargreaves (knee); Doubtful: M. Carrick (achilles), Probable: G. Obertan (ankle), Anderson (knee)

T. Kuszczak; Rafael, C. Smalling, W. Brown, Fabio; G. Obertan, D. Gibson, Anderson, F. Macheda, M. Owen, J. Hernandez

Scunthorpe United 0, Manchester United 3

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