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EFL Cup Final- MU vs NEW Preview and Prediction

By Real11 - Feb 25 2023 346 Views
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EFL Cup 22/23

Final: Manchester United vs Newcastle

Preview 

On Sunday afternoon, Manchester United and Newcastle United will compete for the first piece of domestic silverware at Wembley Stadium, with the possibility to end their respective silverware droughts.

The Red Devils beat Nottingham Forest 5-0 on aggregate to earn their place in the final, while Eddie Howe's emerging talents overcame Southampton 3-1 over two legs in the semi-finals.

It is indeed true that Erik ten Hag, the current manager of Manchester United, has a tough job ahead of him to restore the team to their former glories. However, beating Barcelona and winning a trophy within a few days would certainly be a significant step in the right direction for the Dutchman.

Manchester United's journey to the EFL Cup final has been relatively smooth, with wins against Aston Villa, Burnley, Charlton Athletic, and Nottingham Forest. While they may not have faced the top teams in the English league, they have been professional in their approach and have scored at least two goals in all of their EFL Cup games so far. Furthermore, the team has managed to keep clean sheets in each of their last four games, which is a testament to their defensive capabilities.

With their recent win over Barcelona, Manchester United has also advanced to the last 16 of the Europa League. Although Robert Lewandowski's spot-kick gave Barcelona an early lead, Antony and Fred completed a remarkable comeback to secure a 2-1 win and a 4-3 aggregate victory for the Red Devils.

Manchester United still has a long way to go, but their recent performances suggest that they are heading in the right direction. If they continue to play with the same level of professionalism and determination, a quadruple of trophies is certainly within their reach.

Despite simultaneously vying for FA Cup glory and threatening to shock Arsenal and Manchester City in the Premier League, Manchester United head to Wembley with a nine-game undefeated streak in all competitions, and they have scored at least twice in each of their previous ten games.

The Red Devils will take to the Wembley turf for their 10th EFL Cup final on Sunday - five of their previous nine have ended with the Manchester powerhouses lifting the trophy aloft - and regardless of what happens over the course of 90 or 120 minutes this weekend, Ten Hag will be the first-ever Dutch manager to take charge in an EFL Cup final.

The only time a Dutch manager has failed to win an English cup final was when Ruud Gullit guided Newcastle's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the 1998-99 FA Cup final, but the odds are already stacked against Ten Hag.

Newcastle's market activity has no doubt helped their spectacular recovery from the doldrums, but the admirable work of Howe has not gone unnoticed since their pricey takeover to stay in compliance with Financial Fair Play standards.

It has not been easy, but defeating Tranmere Rovers, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Southampton has earned Newcastle a trip to Wembley for the first time in 24 years, and the Magpies are aiming to win the EFL Cup for the first time in their historic history.

However, Howe's team has hit a slump in Premier League form at an inopportune time, failing to win each of their last four games and suffering only their second top-flight defeat of the season to Liverpool last time out - but the 10-man Magpies still threatened to expose the Reds' defensive frailties and then some.

An eight-game losing streak at Wembley has also befallen the Magpies since their most recent domestic cup triumph in 1955, and Manchester United's 2-0 win over Newcastle in the 1999 FA Cup final was part of their historic triple that year. Winning on Sunday might begin a similar run of success in the coming months, but Newcastle have earned the right to fight at Wembley as Howe seeks to become the first English coach to win the cup since 2003-04, when now-Manchester United assistant Steve McClaren led Middlesbrough to victory.

 

Form Guide

Manchester United EFL Cup form:

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Manchester United form (all competitions):

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Newcastle United EFL Cup form:

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Newcastle United form (all competitions):

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Team News

Marcus Rashford hinted on social media on Friday morning about a possible injury issue after hobbling out of the match against Barcelona, but he will no doubt do all in his power to be fit for the final.

The Red Devils will also be without long-term absentees Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek, while Anthony Martial is unlikely to return from a hip injury in time for the final.

However, Antony and Harry Maguire recovered from their injuries in time for Thursday's game, and the former's telling impact off the bench means he may have played his way into a starting spot over Wout Weghorst, who was substituted at half time against Barcelona after another ineffective performance - that is, assuming Rashford's knock is not too serious.

Of course, Weghorst is one of the few players who can physically compete with Dan Burn, but his record of 11 consecutive starts might come to an end if Ten Hag thinks that the rejuvenated Jadon Sancho has done enough to warrant a start from the start at Wembley.

Nevertheless, the EFL Cup final team news has been overshadowed by Newcastle's goalkeeper predicament, with Nick Pope suspended following his red card against Liverpool and his backup - ex-Manchester United loanee Martin Dubravka - cup-tied, as is Anthony Gordon.

As a consequence, Loris Karius, who has not played for an English team since that night in Kyiv for the 2018 Champions League final, might finally have a fairytale ending. Bruno Guimaraes, on the other hand, has fulfilled his domestic suspension and may return to an injured midfield.

Emil Krafth is the Magpies' only certain injury absence here, and Howe is hoping that Joelinton and Joe Willock will be able to shake off thigh worries in time to play - the former should win that tough struggle to start if both men are declared fit.

 

Probable Starting XIs

MU: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Antony, Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford

NEW: Karius; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin

 

Match Prediction

We predict Manchester United to secure a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Newcastle United in extra time.

Newcastle aren't the same defensive force they were a few weeks ago, and Man United won't need a second invitation to put out-of-practice Karius' gloves, but Guimaraes' return to the base of midfield cannot be overstated.

A Rashford injury and fatigue from Thursday night will also work against the Red Devils, who are not impenetrable at the back and may be forced to play 120 minutes, but Newcastle's recent lack of attacking incisiveness could prove decisive as Man United take another step towards a dazzling quadruple.

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