Welcome ladies and gents to the live blog for tonight’s Carling Cup Fourth Round tie that sees Premier League champions Manchester United make the long and daunting trip down to Hampshire to face League Two minnows Aldershot Town.
Just 48 hours after their derby day humiliation Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will still be licking their wounds after being thrashed 6-1 by noisy neighbours City at Old Trafford. An insipid display from the Red Devils prompted Fergie to deal out some of the famous ‘hairdryer’ treatment to his players in the aftermath of their biggest home defeat since 1955.
It’s been reported that a number of senior players will be dropped by Ferguson tonight after their poor displays on Sunday with the likes of Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov, Antonio Valencia and Michael Carrick set to feature. There is the worry that the deflated squad may still be shaken and another embarrassing defeat at the hands of Dean Holdsworth’s Aldershot may be too much to handle. United should be confident though in what will be their 100th League Cup tie. They haven’t lost in the fourth round since 2006 when Freddy Eastwood’s delicious free kick gave Southend a memorable 1-0 victory at Roots Hall.
The Shots are the lowest ranked team left in the competition but have lost their last three home games at the Recreation Ground. In fact they’ve lost all three Carling Cup games since being promoted from the Conference in 2008 and haven’t progressed past the third round since 1984. Former Wimbledon striker Holdsworth has done a decent job since taking over in January and will be banking on 10-goal Danny Hylton to inspire his side to a giant-killing of epic proportions. Interestingly this is only the second time the two sides have met and the first since Aldershot Town were formed in 1992. Their last meeting came over 40 years ago when United strolled to a 3-1 win over the Shots in the League Cup. I’m sure they’d be happy with a similar result tonight!