Football Previews

Man Utd vs Colchester United preview, predictions & possible XIs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 9:20, 18 December 2019

Manchester United‘s quest for Carabao Cup glory will see them take on League Two side Colchester United on Wednesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side had to squeeze past Rochdale on penalties in the third round before beating Chelsea to book their quarter-final place.

Colchester have already beaten two Premier League sides en route to the final eight, knocking out Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur, combining with wins over Swindon Town and Crawley Town.

Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.

When is Man Utd vs Colchester and where can I watch live?

Competition: Carabao Cup

Venue: Old Trafford

Date: Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Kick-off: 8:00 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): N/A

Recent form

Man Utd (DWWWD)

15 December 2019: Man Utd 1-1 Everton (Premier League)

12 December 2019: Man Utd 4-0 AZ Alkmaar (Europa League)

07 December 2019: >Man City 1-2 Man Utd (Premier League)

04 December 2019: Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham (Premier League)

01 December 2019: Man Utd 2-2 Aston Villa (Premier League)

Colchester (DWLDW)

14 December 2019: Scunthorpe 2-2 Colchester (League Two)

07 December 2019: Colchester 1-0 Salford (League Two)

03 December 2019: Colchester 1-2 Stevenage (Football League Trophy)

23 November 2019: Cheltenham 1-1 Colchester (League Two)

12 November 2019: Colchester 1-0 Ipswich (Football League Trophy)

Ones to watch

Man Utd: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood has been the man for United to call upon in rotated squads this season and should get another start on Wednesday.

The teenager has seven goals across all competitions so far this season, including two in the Premier League, making him the division’s youngest scorer in 2019/20 so far.

Greenwood came off the bench against Everton on Sunday to earn United a draw and, after the game, was hailed by Gary Neville as being a better finisher than Marcus Rashford.

If United are to avoid following Palace and Tottenham, they’ll need Greenwood to live up to Neville’s high praise.

Key stat: Jadon Sancho (11) and Gabriel Martinelli (8) are the only teenagers in Europe’s top five leagues to score more goals this season.

Colchester: Frank Nouble

A former Chelsea academy product, turned West Ham man, Frank Nouble will get his chance to knock out a third Premier League side in the Carabao Cup this season.

The 28-year-old has featured in all but two of Colchester’s games across all competitions this season and is ever-present in the Carabao Cup.

Nouble recorded assists in the wins over Swindon and Crawley and converted his penalties in the shootout wins over Palace and Tottenham.

Key stat: Frank Nouble has been directly involved in nine goals across all competitions this season.

Team news

Man Utd

Diogo Dalot is expected to be back after injury and could play a part in a rotated side, with Solskjaer revealing there will be changes.

He said: “We’ve got a squad and we’ve got to rotate and we did that on Thursday [against AZ Alkmaar], so we’re going make changes again because there are so many games.”

Wednesday’s game will be too soon for Paul Pogba — who has been controversially ruled out with an illness — and Marcos Rojo but the likes of Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe are expected to start.

Predicted XI: Romero; Dalot, Tuanzebe, Jones, Williams; Matic, Garner, Pereira; Chong, Mata; Greenwood.

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While Manchester United will make changes, Colchester are likely to stick with as close to their strongest XI as possible, with hopes of causing an upset.

That means there should be a start at Old Trafford for former West Ham forward Frank Nouble.

Predicted XI: Gerken; Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Bramall; Comley, Pell; Senior, Poku, Nouble; Norris.

Squawka prediction

Manchester United will know the danger of playing a heavily rotated side having just about scraped through against lower league opposition in Rochdale.

But, with Greenwood in the kind of form he is in, shocking Old Trafford could just be too tall a task for Colchester — though they won’t make it easy.

Scoreline prediction: Man Utd 2-0 Colchester