It’s been a tough start to 2014 for Manchester United fans. Four losses from five games, two sendings off, a growing injury list and countless internet memes mocking the whole debacle.
On a brighter note Anderson has waddled off to Fiorentina, so the money saved on canteen staff could be used towards the signing of Juan Mata?
Tonight David Moyes’ men face Sunderland at home and a win would see them go 90 minutes away from more silverware. Admittedly it is the Capital One Cup – but it would still be more silverware than Arsenal have won in the last 3,167 days.
Add on a Liverpool 2005-esque run in the Champions League to render the scouser’s fourth place meaningless and suddenly United fans might have plenty to sing about come May.
For now though all eyes are on overcoming a one-goal deficit to Sunderland. The Black Cats have lost just one game from five in 2014, but the stats point towards an all-Manchester final.
- 42 per cent of League Cup finalists in the last 20 years had lost the first leg of their semi-final
- 12 of those 13 sides had overcome a one-goal deficit in the second leg – only Aston Villa had managed to overturn any bigger, coming from two goals down in the first leg to beat Tranmere in the 1993/94 competition
- In the last 20 years Manchester United have lost a League Cup semi-final first leg twice – in 2009 to Tottenham and 2010 to Man City. On both occasions they came from behind to make the Final
- 63 per cent of Capital One Cup second legs have been won by the home side. This might be a touch misleading as it doesn’t tell you the quality of the home and away sides, however it is much higher than the win rate for home sides in the Premier League this season which is 43 per cent
- Sunderland have not won a game at Old Trafford since May 1968. In that time their record reads nine draws and 17 defeats
With the stats leaning towards a United victory it’s probably worth me throwing some odds your way. The Red Devils are 1/3 to win tonight and 2/5 to qualify for the next round. It’s pretty slim odds considering the little bit of turmoil David Moyes is in, but probably fair as United have won 10 of their 12 games against the bottom 11 Premier League sides this season.
If you fancy a bit of value, the 3-1 correct score to United might be more up your street at 10/1. Nemanja Vidic is missing after seeing red against Chelsea and United’s defense frailties could allow the Black Cats in. Sunderland have scored seven goals in their last three away games and have found the onion bag in their last seven games on the spin.
Adnan Januzaj to score first and United to win 3-1 is a cheeky 50/1 scorecast for anyone who likes a sprinkling of hundreds and thousands on their 99.
- Fancy the prospect of an all-Manchester final? Make like Ashley Young and dive into the latest odds here: Desktop | Mobile