It is quite possible that the League Cup round of 16 might garner more interest than usual this time around. That’s because when it kicks off in midweek, it will have been well over a month since supporters have seen their respective club teams in action.
This fact, coupled with the reality that most football fans have seen their respective nations eliminated from the World Cup for weeks already, means the hunger for footy action is strong. Yes, even if it is the EFL Cup.
Manchester United vs Burnley FC FYIs
Competition: League Cup Round of 16
Kickoff: Wed Dec 21, 8pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester, UK
United Starting XI Prediction: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Man United Team News
The big news here, which just broke today, is that the team’s No. 1, David de Gea, won’t be coming back after the end of the season. While his contract does expire in June, United still have a club option to extend an additional year.
De Gea should feature in this clash, but Jadon Sancho likely won’t, as manager Erik ten Hag has not provided a timetable for the English international’s return. Sancho did not go with the rest of the squad for the warm weather training trip to Spain.
Instead he trained individually in the Netherlands, per the direction of Ten Hag, who says the winger still needs to build up match fitness.
Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are out due to their participation at the World Cup Final, and not having sufficient time to rest and recover from that.
Diogo Dalot (hamstring) is likely to not be risked here, and instead saved for the Premier League return to action on Dec 27 against the Tricky Trees.
Elsewhere Mason Greenwood remains of course indefinitely suspended, as the legal process must play out with him, and Axel Tuanzebe is out for an unspecified reason.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.