By John Ryan
- Manchester United begin defence of League Cup with home tie against Burton Albion
Under its various names the League Cup is a bittersweet trophy for Manchester United. Alex Ferguson blamed the 1992 trophy win as costing Manchester United the English League title.
In April that year the title was destined for Old Trafford. United beat Nottingham Forest in the League Cup final. Won the next league game but injuries from the cup final cost Ferguson dearly.
In the next four games United took just one point and the title went to Elland Road.
Last season Jose Mourinho used the League Cup as a platform to establish himself at Old Trafford.
A see-saw encounter against Southampton in the final ended with Zlatan Ibrahimovic netting the winner. Allowing Jose to win a trophy he had previously won as Chelsea Manager.
This season the trophy will be at the bottom of his priority list but should allow him the opportunity to rotate his squad and see what his fringe players can do.
After thrashing Everton last Sunday, Old Trafford will be expecting goals. Sergio Romero, Luke Shaw and Michael Carrick should all come into the team to allow key players to rested.
We Have Met Burton Before!
In the FA Cup in 2006 Manchester United were held 0-0 by Burton at the Pirelli stadium before winning the replay 5-0 at Old Trafford.
As a non-League side then, Nigel Clough’s men earned the club a massive pay day when travelling to the Theatre of Dreams. If United underestimate Burton on Wednesday Carabao Cup elimination could be a reality.
Burton have progressed since that dream result eleven years ago. Now in the second tier of English football their Manager Nigel Clough departed and returned since then.
They are without Liam Boyce and John Bradford for this game but should see Hope Akpan and Matty Palmer return to the side.
With eight points from their first eight games this fixture offers the visitors a chance to escape the early season dogfight and take a huge scalp in England’s second cup competition.
Manchester United were eliminated from this stage of the competition by MK Dons on a 4-0 scoreline three seasons ago.
Lower league opposition are always a banana skin in English football but with Nigel Clough as opposition Manager it adds spice to this fixture.
Twenty five years ago his Dad orchestrated two costly league wins over United but lost the League Cup final.
That bittersweet feeling should not be present at Old Trafford on Wednesday night though and the home side should prevail.
Verdict: Manchester United 3-0 Burton Albion