Manchester United face Colchester United in the League Cup quarter-finals, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to move a step closer to winning his first trophy as a manager.
It would be a great way to mark his first full season in charge. To prove he’s the right man to take Man Utd forward, Solskjaer must win silverware and show an appetite for success.
But Colchester won’t be an easy task. Yes, they play in League Two, but we shouldn’t forget how John McGreal’s side defeated two Premier League sides (Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace) en route to the last eight.
Solskjaer is likely to field United’s fringe and academy players — like he’s done in the Europa League, which saw the Red Devils top Group L after beating runners-up AZ Alkmaar last Thursday.
To reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup, United had to rely on penalties. Now Solskjaer will be hoping to see the tie out over 90 minutes rather than risk burning out players during the hectic festive period.
Mason Greenwood looks certain to get a start after coming on as a substitute to score the equaling goal in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Everton, but Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes will be hoping for minutes to try to prove themselves under Solskjaer.
While Greenwood and Brandon Williams have impressed in the first-team this season, the same cannot be said for Chong and Gomes. They need to take their chance when they get it.
Colchester have put together a six-match unbeaten run in League Two and sit ninth — in contention for the play-offs.
Keeping a clean sheet at Old Trafford won’t be easy but stranger things have happened.
Paul Pogba won’t make his return on Wednesday night.
Nor will Marcos Rojo despite returning to training last week.
But in better news, Diogo Dalot is back in contention to start.
#MUFC squad vs Colchester: Romero, Grant, Young, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Jones, Shaw, Williams, McTominay, Garner, Matic, Pereira, Mata, Jesse Lingard, Rashford, Martial, Chong, Greenwood. [MEN]
— StrettyNews.com (@StrettyNews) December 18, 2019
Potential Man Utd starting line-up
Romero; Dalot, Tuanzebe, Jones, Williams; Garner, Matic, Pereira; Mata, Greenwood, Chong.