Much has been made of this weekends clash in the FA Cup between soccer giants clad in Manchester United jerseys and Non-League side Crawley Town. Crawley Town are big fish in there very own small pool, and should be up for the match, but all the spirit in the world may not be enough to slay the mighty giants of Manchester.
The fact Sir Alex and his coaching team actually traveled to watch Crawley Town’s last match before this fixture speaks volumes about there perspective on things. After last years shocking defeat to Leeds United, the Red Devils will take no chances on Crawley. Looks for Sir Alex to field a very strong team to ensure a one sided score sheet. Ji-Sung Park, a player who would typically get a start for this sort of match is injured, so Bebe, or Berbatov may get a run out in his new Nike Total 90 Lasers, but don;t look for any youth team players to get a run. Chicharito is also certain make an appearance on the bench if no where else.
On a tactical level, Manchester United will try to score early and often to break the spirit of Crawley Town before they can settle. “They talk about the FA Cup dying, but it won’t die as long as you’ve got giant-killing acts that Crawley have already produced,” said Ferguson. Bookmakers have made Crawley 33-1 to win the tie against the 11-time FA Cup winners, but Town could pull off a shocker.
If they want to beat United, they will have to hold their nerve early, and wait for a chance to strike on the break when an overconfident United could be caught out. Around 9,000 supporters are expected to travel from the Sussex, to Manchester carrying the hope that Crawley will become the first non-league team to reach the last eight of the FA Cup in history. Crawley will need every ounce of those supporters strength behind them in order to beat Manchester United.
Either way, the match should be good early on. I’m not sure United will be able to put Crawley away early, as they really seem to be up for the match and haven’t lost a game since December so they will have no fear going into Old Trafford. If they can hold on for the full 90 minutes, and sneak a few cut goals, they may just be able to pull off the impossible.
I’m going for Crawley Town 2-1 Manchester United
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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