Manchester United will want to avoid a shock cup exit when they host League Two Colchester United in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.


Reds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will ring the changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, but the Norwegian will not take his opponents lightly.

Colchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup Third Round

Colchester have already dumped top-flight opposition out of this year's competition, winning on penalties against both ​Tottenham and ​Crystal Palace in the earlier rounds.


The U's won 3-1 away at Crawley to book their place in the last eight, while the Red Devils also claimed victory on the road, beating Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of a Marcus Rashford brace.


Solskjaer will be wanting to avoid any slip-ups here and surely eyes this as a great chance for his first piece of silverware as ​Manchester United manager.


Where to Watch

​When is Kick Off?​Wednesday 18 December
What Time is Kick Off?​20.00 (GMT)​
Where is it Played?​Old Trafford
TV Channel/Live Stream?​N/A
​Referee?​David Coote


Team News

Paul Pogba had been in contention to play some part on Wednesday night, having not featured for United since the 1-1 Premier League home draw with Arsenal in late September.

Paul Pogba

The Frenchman has been sidelined with an ankle injury and has only played six times for the Red Devils this campaign, though he had been expected to play some part against League Two opposition. However, he is likely to miss the fixture through illness.


Elsewhere, Eric Bailly remains out with a knee ligament injury and fellow defender Diogo Dalot also continues to struggle with a groin injury.


Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcus Rojo are also absentees for Solskjaer's side.


As for the visitors, boss John McGreal is likely to name a strong side which could include former ​Arsenal youngster Cohen Bramall and ex-West Ham striker Frank Nouble.


Predicted Lineups

Manchester United​Romero; Tuanzebe, Rojo, Jones, Williams; Matic, Garner, Mata; James, Rashford, Greenwood
​Colchester United​Gerken; Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Bramall; Comley, Pell, Harriot, Poku; Nouble, Norris


Head-to-Head Record

Given that Colchester United have never reached the top echelons of English football, they have rarely encountered Manchester United in the past.

In fact, the Red Devils' goalscorer on Sunday, Mason Greenwood, wasn't even born when the sides last met during a League Cup encounter in 1983.

Strikes from Gordon McQueen and Remi Moses confirmed a 2-0 win for Manchester United that day. 

Their other match up also resulted in a Manchester United triumph as Jimmy Greenhoff sealed a 1-0 FA Cup win in 1979.

Recent Form

Crawley Town FC v Colchester United FC - Carabao Cup Round of 16

Solskjaer's men are unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions and have hit a bit of form after an indifferent start to the season.


After suffering a shock 2-1 defeat to Astana in the Europa League, they beat AZ Alkmaar 4-0 to top the group and set up a last 16 tie with Belgian side Club Brugge.

Their league form hasn't been bad either, they may have drawn with Everton on Sunday but they beat current Premier League champions ​Man City 2-1 in their own backyard a fortnight ago. 

As for Colchester, John McGreal's League Two side sit ninth in the table and have nothing to lose as they sit 70 places below their hosts in the English footballing ladder.

McGreal's men have only won once in their last four games but they will go to Old Trafford with nothing to fear and a chance of pulling off yet another cup upset.

The odds are stacked against them but victories against Spurs and Palace will definitely give the U's belief heading into this one. 

​Manchester UnitedColchester United​
Man United 1-1 Everton (15/12)​Scunthorpe United 2-2 Colchester (14/12)
Man United 4-0 AZ Alkmaar (12/12)Colchester 1-0 Salford City (07/12)
​Man City 1-2 Man United (07/12)Colchester 1-2 Stevenage (03/12)
​Man United 2-1 Tottenham (04/12)​Cheltenham 1-1 Colchester (23/12)
Man United 2-2 Aston Villa (01/12)Colchester 1-0 Ipswich Town (12/11)



Prediction

In spite of their giant-killing heroics, it feels like this is the end of the road for Colchester on Wednesday night.

No matter what team Solskjaer selects, it's likely Manchester United will have too much class for the League Two outfit.

The Reds did almost come a cropper against lower competition at Old Trafford in the third round, only beating Rochdale on penalties, however, there is little chance of history repeating itself here.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Colchester United