Northampton Town vs Manchester United Preview: Must win game for Mourinho's side to end run of defeats

The Red Devils must show their strength on Wednesday evening to put an end to their run of defeats

Northampton Town vs Manchester United Preview: Must win game for Mourinho's side to end run of defeats
The United players must put a stop to three successive defeats (Picture source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)

On Wednesday evening, Manchester United's EFL Cup campaign begins in the third round with a very tricky trip to League One side Northampton Town F.C. at the Sixfields Stadium.

Red Devils on a three-match losing streak

Since the international break, Jose Mourinho's side have lost three consecutive matches, something that has very rarely happened in the team or manager's career to date.

It is therefore extremely important that this run that the Red Devils are on at the moment is brought to an end and now this game against the Cobblers has become a game that the team must win. 

The past week for United has seen them lose firstly the Manchester derby to Manchester City 2-1, which was followed by defeat in Rotterdam to Feyenoord 1-0 in their opening Uefa Europa League tie. The third defeat was very costly indeed as they lost to Watford 3-1 in a game that the players couldn't get going at all.

It wasn't a good day at the office on Sunday for the United players | Photo:
It wasn't a good day at the office on Sunday for the United players | Photo: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Northampton are not to be taken lightly

If anyone in the United ranks thinks that the game on Wednesday evening is a guaranteed win, they must think again as the Cobblers will be out to try and cause a huge upset.

Northampton currently sit 11th in the League One table after eight games. The most impressive thing though was that until the weekend just gone when they lost 3-1 to Chesterfield F.C, they were on a 31-game unbeaten league run stretching back to December last year. This included them being promoted to League One as convincing champions from League Two last season.

Last meetings between the clubs

United and Northampton last met in the FA Cup fourth round in January 2004 with the Red Devils winning 3-0 thanks to goals from Mikael Silvestre, a Chris Hargreaves own goal and Diego Forlan.

Overall the sides have met on four ocassions which includes a huge 8-2 win for United in the FA Cup in 1970 when George Best famously scored six goals in the match.

Team News

Northampton manager Rob Page will be pleased ahead of the game due to the fact that his team are without any major absentees for the game.

Someone who might be known to the United team is former West Ham United and Burnley midfielder Matt Taylor, who is line to start the match for the League One outfit.

Mourinho is likely to make a number of changes to his starting eleven for the game with the likes of Sergio Romero and Timothy Fosu-Mensah in contention to make their first appearances of the season.

The Portuguese boss though is set to be without Luke Shaw due to a groin injury he picked up in the defeat to Watford, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan will once again miss the match with a thigh injury. Phil Jones is also out with a knee injury he picked up in training and Anthony Martial won't make the trip either after he was substituted during Sunday's defeat at Vicarage Road due to concussion.

Predicted line-ups

Northampton Town predicted starting lineup: Smith;  Moloney, Diamond, Nyatanga, Buchanan, Beautyman, McCourt, Taylor, Anderson, Revell, Gorré.

Manchester United Predicted Starting Lineup: Romero; Fosu-Mensah, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Herrera; Memphis, Mata, Lingard; Rashford.