The time has finally come, for arguably the most successful team in English club football, Manchester United to win another major trophy. The Red Devils once thrived under the mighty gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson had been injected with new hopes and passions under their new Dutch manager Erik ten Hag, and the team will get its real chance of tasting silverware glories, when they head to Wembley Stadium for a Carabao Cup finale showdown against fellow English Premier League team Newcastle United.
A Frustrated Nil-Nil Draw in This Season’s First Meeting
Since the takeover of Public Investment Fund as the new owner, the Magpies had been in excellent form this season, posing serious questions to the United side that is thirst for trophies and a return to the old glory days. Both sides did meet once earlier this season, but the team from the Red Half of Manchester had to settle for an unpleasant draw before their angry home fans. Fueled by this result last time around, ten Hag’s team will be eager to take down Newcastle United this Sunday, where the first major final for clubs in England sets to take place.
Both Teams’ Journeys So Far
Eddie Howe’s men had to go through an additional round of fixture before reaching the finale of this competition. They overcame lower-tiered Tranmere Rovers in the second round, before beating four Premier League teams on their way to the final, including a penalty shoot-out victory against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace, home victories over AFC Bournemouth and Leicester City and a 3-1 aggregate win versus Southampton over two legs of semifinal matches.
Manchester United, now led by ten Hag, started the competition with a 4-2 triumph over Aston Villa in the third round, before easily dispatched Burnley F. C. from the EFL Championship and Charlton Athletic F. C. from EFL League One in the fourth round and quarterfinal. These victories led it to a two-legged semifinal clash with Nottingham Forest, in which United successfully eliminated the Tricky Trees on a 5-0 score.
Newcastle vs. Manchester United
The League Cup final feels like a throwback ⏪ pic.twitter.com/NOi7k2Xq9E
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 1, 2023
What Does the Head-to-Head Say?
Sunday’s meeting will be the 175th between the Red Devils and the Magpies, with United now leading the overall record with 90 wins, 41 draws, and 43 losses. These two teams go way back in competing against each other, where the first meeting dated back in 1895, in which the then Newton Heath beat past Newcastle United with a 5-1 score line in League Division Two. The final in the league cup competition this season certainly feels like a retro clash between two of the oldest clubs in the country, and no one will be letting go this golden opportunity for domestic cup glories.
Can the Magpies Stop Marcus Rashford Though?
Erik ten Hag’s men produced magical moments in the UEFA Europa League Play-Off, allowing United to beat Spanish La Liga league leader Barcelona with a 4-3 aggregate score last Thursday. This momentum gained will certainly ignite players’ mood and ambitions to win it all this Sunday, with a hungry Marcus Rashford leading all attackers to challenge Newcastle United’s backline.
The England international is the Red Devils’ best player this season, especially after the player scored 16 goals in 19 matches for the team since his return from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The Manchester-born Rashford, who is on 24 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions this season, will be polishing his boots for the final and the rest of the season, as he is now aiming to score more than 30 goals by the end of the 2022/2023 campaign. Adding one or few trophies would certainly be the icing on the cake for the 25-year-old, who is enjoying his best scoring season at the moment.
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Newcastle Never Won the League Cup
Going through the history book, the Magpies never had their hands on the League Cup trophy before, and they are definitely not going into the finale thinking that they do not stand a chance to upset Manchester United. As for the Red Devils, they have been the champion five times in the past, with the last victory came in the 2016/2017 Season, which was also their second-last silverware won to date.
A penny of your thoughts, which team do you think will emerge victorious?