Sir Alex Ferguson set to give United youngsters a chance in Carling Cup

27 February 2009 03:18
Manchester United v Tottenham HotspurKick-off: Sun Feb 28, 3.00pm; Wembley Stadium, LondonTV: Sky Sports 1 (14:30-17:30), Sky Sports HD1 (14:30-17:30)Radio: BBC Radio 5 Live

Youngsters Danny Welbeck and Darron Gibson have been told that they will start against reigning holders Spurs at Wembley, while the Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans will also figure if he overcomes an ankle injury in time.

Victory at Wembley will secure United's third League Cup and edge the club closer to a unique Quintuple this season, but despite seeing silverware within touching distance, United manager Ferguson insists that his youngsters deserve the opportunity to play against Harry Redknapp's team.

Ferguson said: "I will be playing the younger ones on Sunday, so Gibson and Welbeck will both play because they deserve to do so.

"Jonny Evans is another one who deserves to be involved, so hopefully he will be fit. Rafael da Silva would have played, but the lad is going to be out for a month with a hairline fracture of the ankle, so he has been very unlucky.

"We obviously want to win because the winning mentality in the club is why we have been successful, but we know what our priorities are and that will affect the team that I pick on Sunday. We have a big game at Newcastle on Wednesday and the priority for us will always be the Premier League and the Champions League.

"The Premier League is the only place to be and Harry Redknapp is well aware of that on the basis of the team he picked in the Uefa Cup on Thursday. Ten of that team won't play on Sunday, with maybe only the goalkeeper figuring, but Harry has to manage three games in six days because they have an important game against Middlesbrough in midweek."

Wayne Rooney is likely to start for United with Ferguson keen to boost the striker's fitness following a recent hamstring injury lay-off, while Gary Neville is expected to captain the team.

Sunday is due to be United's second major Final at the new Wembley following the FA Cup Final defeat against Chelsea two years ago and Ferguson admits that the stadium has yet to match-up to its fabled predecessor.

He said: "The first time we went back, I was disappointed with the atmosphere, but I am getting to used to it now.

"It's different now. You don't have the Twin Towers or the long walk from behind the goal anymore, so it has a different atmosphere nowadays."

Manchester United (Probable, 4-4-2): Foster; Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs; Rooney, Berbatov.

Missing: Evans (ankle/foot), Hargreaves (knee). Tests: Anderson (ankle/foot) Top scorer: (all comps) Ronaldo 16. Discipline: (all comps) R: 3. Y: 63.

Route to the final:

3rd rd: Middlesbrough (h) W 3-1 4th rd: QPR (h) W 1-0 5th rd: Blackburn (h) W 5-3 SF1: Derby (a) L 0-1 SF2: Derby (h) W 4-2

Tottenham Hotspur (Probable, 4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-ekotto; Lennon, Jenas, Palacios, Modric; Bent, Pavlyuchenko.

Missing: Hutton (foot), Defoe (thigh) Tests: King (knee), O'Hara (hip/thigh), Lennon (groin). Top scorer: Bent 14. Discipline: (all comps) R: 5. Y: 55.

Referee: C Foy. Games (all comps): 24. R: 1. Y: 87. Ave: 3.67.

Stat Attack: This is Spurs' seventh League Cup final, with four wins and two defeats from the previous six. United are also in their seventh League Cup final, having won only two.

Past League Cup meetings

1998-1999 QF: Tottenham 3 Man Utd 1 1989-1990 3rd rd: Man Utd 0 Tottenham 3 1981-1982 2nd rd, 1st leg: Tottenham 1 Man Utd 0 1981-1982 2nd rd, 2nd leg: Man Utd 0 Tottenham 1 1979-1980 2nd rd, 1st leg: Tottenham 2 Man Utd 1 1979-1980 2nd rd, 2nd leg: Man Utd 3 Tottenham 1

Bet On.United to win their second trophy of the season.

Source: Telegraph