Man United v Derby County
Friday, Jan 05 – 20:00pm
Manchester United beat Everton 2-0 on New Year’s Day, after a run of three consecutive draws in the Premier League. Midfielder Paul Pogba responded to recent criticism by giving a man of the match performance at Goodison Park, and is likely to feature in tonight’s game, along with Romelu Lukaku, who has been out of action with a head injury. Reports from Old Trafford suggest that goalkeeper Sergio Romero will feature in the FA Cup, with Jose Mourinho choosing to rest regular keeper David de Gea.
Derby County have enjoyed an excellent start to their Championship campaign, and sit second in the league table, taking 49 points from their 26 games this season. The Rams drew 1-1 with Sheffield United in their last match, and are currently undefeated in seven games in all competitions. Derby manager Gary Rowett has described tonight’s fixture as a chance to test his side’s Premier League aspirations. Both Tom Lawrence and Joe Ledley are doubtful to start for the Rams, having picked up recent injuries.
What the stats tell us:
- Tonight’s match will mark the 10th meeting between these two clubs in the FA Cup – Man United won the most recent game 3-1 back in 2016.
- Manchester United have won seven consecutive games against Derby in the FA Cup – beating them in the semi-finals in 1948 and 1976.
- Having lost to Bristol City in the EFL Cup last month, Man United are at risk of losing to two sides outside of the English top-flight for the first time since 1983/84 (Bournemouth and Oxford United).
- The Red Devils have only lost one home game in 35 FA Cup fixtures against lower league sides (W28 D6) – losing to Leeds United in January 2010.
- The last time Derby beat an opponent from the league above them in the FA Cup was last year against West Brom.
Jose Mourinho always takes domestic cup competitions seriously, so expect to see a strong Man United side take to the field tonight. Losing to Bristol City in the EFL Cup will have been a wake up call for the Red Devils, because they were second best on the night, and with Derby proving a tough team to beat this season, United will have to be far more clinical than they were against the Robins. Man United to win, both teams to score.