Preview: Scunthorpe United v Manchester United
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2010
The first competitive meeting between the Iron and Manchester United will take place at Glanford Park on Wednesday night.
The difference in resources between these two clubs can be measured in many ways, but the most striking is the experience of the managers. Ian Baraclough, in charge of the Scunthorpe United first-team at Glanford Park for the first time, has been a boss for two games. Sir Alex Ferguson, whose Manchester United side have won the Carling Cup in the last two season, has overseen more than 1,000 games. Manchester United will bring in their reserves, but that includes a former European player of the year in Michael Owen as well as a host of internationals.
Iron team news
Ian Baraclough's only consideration is whether to bring Rob Jones back into the starting XI after his knee problem, or keep faith with Niall Canavan. Jones returned to the bench for Saturday's 2-0 loss at Swansea City. Jim McNulty, the left-back, is still out with an ankle injury while Garry Thompson is a long-term absentee with a groin problem.
Red Devils team news
The side that walks out at Glanford Park will be very different to that which defeated Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday. Sir Alex Ferguson has said Michael Owen, the former England forward, will start the match. Bebe, a £7million summer signing from Vitoria Guiemaraes, is included in the squad - if he plays, and it is likely to be off the bench with Javier Hernandez partnering Owen from the start, it will be his debut for the club. Tomasz Kuszczak will play in goal, with Chris Smalling and Anderson in line for rare starts.
Nickname: Red Devils
Historical achievements: As one of the most decorated club teams in the world, Manchester United really need no introduction. They have been crowned champions of England 18 times, and claimed the European Cup on three occasions - the most recent was in 2008, when they defeated Chelsea in the final in Moscow. Despite their historical success, which has brought with it a worldwide fan base of millions, they are heavily in debt. This is not through overspending on players, but because the Glazer family takeover of the club in 2004 was funded through loans. Opposition to their ownership prompted FC United - a completely new club, who compete in non-league - and led to the green and gold campaign led by a supporters trust. Manchester United Supporters' Trust are hoping to convince the Glazers that when the time comes for them to sell the club, they are the only realistic option. They have been backed in this cause by a group of businessmen dubbed the Red Knights. Despite signs of a reduction in the club's spending power, there has been no noticeable decline decline in success on the pitch. They would the European Cup for a third time in 2008, and will expect to be challenging for all major honours again this season.
Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
Stats and figures
Manchester United are the current Carling Cup holders, having won it for the last two seasons. There are few meaningful stats as the side Ferguson will ply at Glanford Park will bear little resemblance to the teams that have played in their competitive games so far this season. Scunthorpe have had a settled team in all areas other than defence, with David Mirfin, Rob Jones and Jim McNulty all suffering injuries. Up front Jonathan Forte has shown more of a cutting edge than in previous seasons, scoring three times in nine outings. Chris Dagnall, a summer signing from Rochdale, is now top scorer in all competions with four goals.
There has never been a competitive meeting between the two sides, but there was a fundraising game at the Old Showground in 1985. That match, which Ian Botham helped organise in his capacity as an Iron player at the time, finished 5-5.
Mike Dean (Merseyside)
Scunthorpe United 6/1 / Draw 7/2 / Manchester United 2/5 (Paddy Power)