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Monday, 28 November 2011

Images from Man Utd vs Benfica, Next stop Birmingham - Villa park. #mufc

I am looking forward to another away-trip this weekend.  I'll be travelling down to Birmingham for the Aston Villa game with my pals and it should be a good day out- as all away games are.  United als play Crystal Palace this week in the Carling Cup quarter final.  I hope that Ravell Morrison gets a start as this lad is set to shine in my eyes.  I think he may be one of the few youngsters to not go out on loan, but stay with United this year to get him in the setup and used to  playing with the first team.  If we had beaten Benfica last week at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League tie I'm sure he would have played in our final group game.

 has previewed the Carling Cup game as follows:

United v Crystal Palace preview  by Adam Marshall.

The Reds look for a place in the last four of the Carling Cup...
Form guide
United have only lost once all season but have been held to consecutive home draws by Benfica and Newcastle. Sir Alex's side breezed through previous rounds of the Carling Cup against Leeds and Aldershot. Palace's trip to Old Trafford is the Eagles' first away assignment in the competition. Dougie Freedman's team haven't scored for five Championship games but three of those have been goalless draws.
Ins and outsThe manager has dropped plenty of hints about his possible team selection. The Da Silva twins, Ezekiel Fryers and Chris Smalling could all play with Mame Biram Diouf and Federico Macheda also promised a run-out. Paul Pogba, Darron Gibson and Ravel Morrison are in contention for midfield spots while Ben Amos is expected to play in goal. Palace will be without on-loan defender Dekel Keinan as he is cup-tied after representing Cardiff in earlier rounds. Another loanee, striker Chris Martin, should be available.
Last meeting
There was stalemate at Selhurst Park in March, 2005, as Palace held out for a draw despite Vassilis Lakis being sent off after 64 minutes. Big guns Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes came off the bench but there was no way past home keeper Gabor Kiraly.
Star man
Wilfried Zaha imay be a talent but much of the Eagles' best work has been in defence of late and Nathaniel Clyne is a full-back with a big future. The 20-year-old was npower Player of the Month for October in the Championship and made his England Under-21 debut in the recent victory over Iceland. Freedman will be aware of the need to fend
off Barclays Premier League interest in the youngster when the January window opens.
"It is about the players enjoying themselves and providing the fans, who have stuck by us through relegation and administration, with a great night. It is amazing to think we are playing Manchester United in the last eight of the League Cup this season. Who would have thought that would happen?" - Dougie Freedman.
Any sub-plots?Palace were the opponents when Sir Alex lifted his first trophy as United boss - the 1990 FA Cup. The South Londers were also overcome at the semi-final stage of the same competition in 1995. The Reds are aiming to win the Carling Cup for a third time in four years after successes in 2009 and 2010.
Whistle blower
Chris Foy takes charge of the quarter-final - the first time he's officiated a Reds match this term. The Merseyside man-in-the-middle has shown four red cards in 2011/2012 including two to Chelsea players in their derby defeat to QPR last month.
Rivals watchThe other three quarter-final ties are all on Tuesday.  Cardiff face Blackburn, Chelsea entertain Liverpool and City are at Arsenal.

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