Manchester United have drawn Crystal Palace at home in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
United were ultimately the winners of last season’s competition and will be hoping for a repeat this year.
Erik ten Hag’s side will begin their defence of the trophy against Palace towards the end of September.
Roy Hodgson’s side presents a tough test for United, but one they should be able to overcome with relative ease. Especially with Old Trafford as the venue.
United were able to beat Palace at home last season, despite the referee’s best efforts to help the away side. A disappointing draw proceeded this at Selhurst Park; a tough venue for any side on their best day with a raucous Palace crowd.
The London side boast a collection of technically gifted players, but appear to lack a cutting edge up front following the departure of former United winger, Wilfried Zaha. The United dressing room will be quietly content with the draw, although Dean Henderson, who has just joined the Eagles from United, will have a point to prove in goal.
Arguably, United’s most impressive sequence of performances came during their successful run in the Carabao Cup last season.
United scored sixteen times across the six matches they played, conceding only two – both in the opening third round fixture against Aston Villa.
The comfortable 2-0 defeat of Newcastle constituted United’s first piece of silerware in six years and laid down an impressive gauntlet early in Ten Hag’s tenure.
The Dutch manager has been adamant in his attempts to instil a ‘Win Everything’ mentality amongst his new side.
It mirrors the mantra of the United of old, but one which the dressing rooms at Old Trafford have slowly lost over the last decade.
Other managers, such as José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, have often seen the Carabao Cup (or, more traditionally, the League Cup) as a means to laying down a marker of success early in a season.
With the final taking place in February, it is a perfect opportunity for an aspiring team to secure an early trophy and cultivate the confidence of a winning side.
United will get their first opportunity to build towards this end goal against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford next month.