Roses battle gives us reason to care for the Carling Cup
Round three of the Carling Cup is underway and tonight, we’ve got a good old-fashioned Roses clash to convince us that this competition really is worthwhile.
September 20th, 2011
It’s white versus red, puddings versus hot pot, Emmerdale versus Corrie, Soft Cell vs The Happy Mondays. That’s right, Leeds United take on Manchester United at Elland Road.
And whilst Lancashire might have claimed the upper hand over their rivals from across the Pennines in the cricket recently, it is the Yorkshiremen who can claim bragging rights in the football arena recently (if we ignore that Leeds are still languishing in Championship mid-table mediocrity and that Man Utd, well, aren’t), with Simon Grayson’s men succeeding in the last meeting between the two sides.
Then League One Leeds walked away from Old Trafford with one of the biggest upsets of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure, with Jermaine Beckford giving the visitors a 1-0 win in the FA Cup 18 months ago – their first win at Old Trafford since 1981.
And so onto tonight and is revenge on the agenda for United tonight? Probably not. Fergie takes his team across the M62 with much bigger things in the back of his mind and although the side he’ll put out should be more than enough to see off an indifferent Leeds side, the Scot probably won’t lose much sleep even if the 5/1 upset did happen.
Speaking of the team that Fergie will field, it’s likely to contain young whipper snappers such as Paul Pogba,Will Keane, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen although expect Leeds to rotate as well, with a long trip to Brighton due on Friday.
The home side, whilst they may have been revered for their cup exploits in recent seasons, have only reached the fourth round of the Carling Cup once in the last nine years, that particular event happening in the 2008-09 season when they beat Chester, Crystal Palace and Chester.
Leeds also go into the game on something of a downer, with indifferent league form, a host of injuries and terrace unrest aimed towards the club’s board all prompting us to think that the general 5/1 on offer about a home win is perhaps justified. Instead, we’re going to back the 11/8 on Manchester United in the half time / full time. With two strikers looking to prove their worth, we can see early goals in this one.
If you absolutely have to look for an upset in cup match nights, then allow me to point you towards Molineux where Kenny Jacket’s well-drilled Millwall side head to struggling Wolves. At 7/2 on a victory for the Championship side (or 12/5 with Ladbrokes on the draw no bet), we think that’s your most likely upset of the night.
Leeds United vs Manchester United: ManU / Man U on Half Time / Full Time @ 11/8
Wolves vs Millwall: Millwall (draw no bet) @ 12/5