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Beags: Fresh blood

Since Capital One purchased the sponsorship rights for the League Cup, the competition has produced quality and romance in equal measure, with giant-killings, glorious goals and heroic headlines aplenty.

Last Updated: 26/08/14 at 22:38 Post Comment

Dele Alli has many admirers, including, if reports are to be believed, Bayern Mu

Dele Alli has many admirers, including, if reports are to be believed, Bayern Mu

The middle-band Premier League teams are exploiting the opportunity of a gateway to Europe this competition brings, while many of the big boys are now fielding very strong teams from the outset in the hopes of making it to the latter stages.

One of the Premier League heavyweights will be in action on Tuesday as Man United visit MK Dons, in a clash that promises a potential upset and plenty of goals and one that should be played in front of a 29,000 sell-out at stadium:mk.

Both teams have their injury concerns, in particular United, who may have to put out a back four that has not played together before, something that Karl Robinson’s pacey frontrunners will be looking to exploit.

Louis van Gaal’s side’s excellent pre-season form promised much but hasn’t yet delivered in the Premier League, with an opening-day defeat at home to Swansea followed by a scrappy point at Sunderland.

Those results mean Van Gaal, still looking for his first competitive win of the campaign, may risk some of the players previously earmarked for a rest with Saturday’s game against Burnley in mind.

However, exciting young striker James Wilson, a player I rate highly, should start up front, while Adnan Januzaj should enjoy the magnificent pitch that the ground staff at stadium:mk have produced.

Tempo

The game will be a big test of United’s attitude as if I cast my mind back to the last time they appeared in the second round of the League Cup they lost 4-3 on aggregate to York in October 1995.

It would be a shock to see The Red Devils exit at this stage, though, as they have won five of the last six matches against sides from a lower division.

MK Dons’ style has always been possession-based with a patient build-up that creates goal-scoring opportunities every so often, but this term Robinson has encouraged his men to increase the tempo of their passing without being too direct.

They now have more penetration than in previous years, with Dean Bowditch, Tom Hitchcock, Will Grigg and, in particular, Daniel Powell and Dele Alli offering a genuine goal threat.

Grigg leads the line well centrally and Powell and Alli have the pace, athleticism and trickery to worry any defence, while striker Beink Afobe has already found his shooting boots, netting in the cup against Wimbledon and in the league against Chesterfield. 

Robinson reached a personal milestone in the last round of the Capital One Cup, securing his 100th win as a manager before the age of 34, which he turns next month, and a win versus United for the likeable Scouser, in one of the most exciting games at stadium: mk for years, would be a great birthday present.

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S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

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ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

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e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

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