Manchester United will be aiming to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup when they make the trip to Rodney Parade to face League Two club Newport County on Sunday afternoon.
Erik ten Hag’s side, who were the finalists of the FA Cup last season, breezed past Wigan Athletic 2-0 at the DW Stadium in the last round of the competition earlier this month. They were last in action on January 14, drawing 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
This will represent the Red Devils’ final match of January and the players must be raring to return from the mini winter break on a winning note.
Manchester United Team News
Luke Shaw could make his comeback on Sunday after being forced to pull out of the squad against Tottenham at the last moment. He trained with the squad earlier this week, alongside compatriot Harry Maguire, who has been absent with a groin problem since the 1-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich in Manchester United’s final Champions League group-stage fixture.
Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount and Victor Lindelof are all still sidelined, while Andre Onana and Sofyan Amrabat are away with Cameroon and Morocco respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations. Meanwhile, Anthony Martial has undergone groin surgery and will be out for around 10 weeks.
Predicted Manchester United lineup vs Newport County (4-2-3-1)
Andre Onana’s absence opens the door for Altay Bayindir to make his debut for Man United. Signed as an understudy to Onana from Fenerbahce in the summer, Bayindir will be raring to make a positive first impression after sitting on the bench patiently waiting for his opportunity since the start of the campaign.
Although Luke Shaw is expected to be included in the travelling squad, Erik ten Hag is likely to stick with Diogo Dalot at left-back at Rodney Parade. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should hold his spot at right-back.
Having come off the bench in the second half against Tottenham, Lisandro Martinez could be handed a start alongside Raphael Varane in central defence. Man United’s defensive quartet must be wary of Newport’s physical approach and deal with their set-plays well.
Casemiro was an unused substitute in the 2-2 draw with Spurs before the winter break, but Ten Hag could use this cup fixture to ease the Brazilian into action after his hamstring problem. He could occupy the No.6 role, allowing his partner Kobbie Mainoo to dictate the pace of the game and create opportunities in the final third.
Bruno Fernandes is among the first names on the team sheet, and he will be an important figure for the visitors to unlock the Newport defence. Christian Eriksen could come off the bench in the second half to bring calmness in midfield.
There is no looking past the attacking trio of Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund. Rashford and Hojlund scored in Man United’s 2-2 draw with Spurs, and the duo will be desperate to get on the scoresheet again, while Garnacho hopes to produce a scintillating display at Rodney Parade.
Antony and Amad Diallo will look to make a difference if called upon from the bench.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.