Manchester United travel to the Sixfields to face Northampton Town in the 3rd round of the EFL Cup today. The Red Devils have stuttered in the past week having lost 3 consecutive matches and although it is too early to call it a crisis at Old Trafford, Mourinho will be looking to dissolve any such fears with a convincing victory against a side Manchester United have dominated historically. In the 4 meetings between the side, United have scored an eye-watering 18 goals over 360 minutes, expectedly winning all of them.
Northampton Town have started the season poorly winning just 3 of their 9 games and aren’t expected to cause any trouble to one of the best teams in the world. But neither Feyenoord nor Watford were expected to do as well. The League One outfit should look to enjoy the occasion and express themselves as they host the only club to have netted over half a billion profit in a year.
Northampton are without any major absentees for the game with former West Ham and Burnley midfielder Matt Taylor in line to start for the League One side.
Mourinho will be without the services of Phil Jones, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial and it is reported he is likely to rest the likes of Ibrahimovic, Rooney, Pogba and De Gea.
NORTHAMPTON TOWN (4-3-3)
Smith; Moloney, Diamond, Nyatanga, Buchanan; Beautyman, McCourt, Taylor; Gorre, Revell, Anderson.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1)
Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Herrera; Mata, Lingard, Depay; Rashford
The former West Ham United and Burnley midfielder will be the most well-known face in the Northampton Town outfit. He played for Burnley as recently as the 2015-16 season scoring 4 goals and creating 17 chances. He has already scored twice this season and his experience will come in handy for the League One outfit.
Manchester United have more often than not looked listless in the last week or so and it has fallen to the young Manchester prodigy to spark them to life. Rashford has looked lively whenever he has been given the opportunity and while his game needs to be moulded, in front of goal he is a natural. With the bigwigs likely to be rested, Rashford is expected to provide the impetus for the seldom played front line of Manchester United.
With the current confidence crisis at Manchester United aligned with the fact that Northampton Town have nothing to lose, it will be a good opportunity for the League One outfit to play without fear and look to cause a massive upset. But on a more pragmatic note, it is highly likely the vast difference in quality between the two sides will ultimately see United come out as comfortable winners. And if they can nick an early goal, the pages of history between the two sides might well be revisited today.
T40 PREDICTION: NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0- 3 MANCHESTER UNITED