Manchester United’s Carabao Cup campaign continues on Tuesday as they welcome third-tier Charlton Athletic to Old Trafford for a seemingly routine quarterfinal task.
High-flying Man Utd comfortably dispatched fellow Premier League rivals Everton 3-1 in the FA Cup on Friday, maintaining an outrageous domestic form in the post-World Cup period.
Since club football’s resumption in December, Erik ten Hag’s men have won all five matches across all competitions, including a 2-0 home victory over Championship leaders Burnley in the last Carabao Cup round.
In addition to conceding just once in those five fixtures, the Red Devils have netted precisely three goals on three occasions, suggesting lower-league Charlton could have a long evening at Old Trafford.
However, United shouldn’t take anything for granted, as the Addicks held Brighton & Hove Albion goalless in the previous Carabao Cup stage before ousting them on penalties to set up this tie.
Dean Holden’s men have since gone winless in back-to-back League One games (D1, L1) before winning the last two in a row, including a 3-1 demolition of Portsmouth on their latest travel.
Despite halting an underwhelming run of four consecutive defeats on hostile turf, Charlton will need nothing short of a miracle to reach the Carabao Cup semifinals for the first time in the club’s history.
Ten Hag has turned Old Trafford into a fortress since a 2-1 loss to Brighton on his touchline debut in August, with Man Utd going unbeaten in 12 of their subsequent 14 competitive home outings (W11, D1).
Additionally, the Red Devils come into proceedings on the back of eight consecutive home victories, while they’ve outscored Charlton in their last ten H2Hs in all competitions.
If that’s not enough to explain United’s status as pre-match favorites, they’ve only lost one of their last 25 competitive encounters against Charlton at the Theatre of Dreams (W21, D3).
Scoring has been an issue for Charlton in this season’s Carabao Cup, with Holden’s side netting just three goals in their four previous matches in the second most significant cup competition.
There’s not much the Addicks can hope for in Manchester, especially considering they’ve conceded precisely three goals in three of their last four away games.
Charlton’s only previous Carabao Cup clash against Man Utd stirs painful memories too, as they found themselves on the wrong side of a 5-1 scoreline in their second-round tie back in 1974/75.
Manchester United vs Charlton Athletic Potential Line-ups
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Martin Dubravka; Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Casemiro; Anthony Elanga, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes; Anthony Martial.
Charlton Athletic (4-3-3): Ashley Maynard-Brewer; Steven Sessegnon, Lucas Ness, Ryan Inniss, Sean Clare; George Dobson, Albie Morgan, Scott Fraser; Corey Blackett-Taylor, Jayden Stockley, Jesuran Rak-Sakyi.