Tonight sees the beginning of Newcastle’s latest challenge for silverware, as they take on Manchester United in the newly named Capital One Cup. The road to Wembley could not have started with much of a tougher test for the Magpies, with the Red Devils in fine form coming into tonight’s clash at Old Trafford.

As usual with the league cup competition, neither team will be at full strength as they give fringe and reserve players the chance to prove they have what it takes to break into the first team plans of their respective managers.
For Alan Pardew, the team he picks will be similar to the one that started against Maritimo just over a week ago, with a few first team players returning from injury thrown in to gain some match time. Those will likely be Captain Coloccini and Cheick Tiote, who are both on the comeback trail from problems, while Papiss Cisse may also start as he looks to end his goal drought.

Cisse’s inclusion will be hotly contested, as Alan Pardew decides whether to persist with the Senegal striker as he searches for his first goal of the season or rest him ahead of the trip to Reading at the weekend. Cisse should certainly play some part, as Shola Ameobi prepares to lead the line.

Ryan Taylor and Tim Krul both remain injured, while former Man United man Danny Simpson will also miss out through injury. Haris Vuckic will hope to start as he did in Portugal just over a week ago, while 17-year old Adam Campbell may have a place on the bench.

Man United will ring the changes too, as many first team stars are rested ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Old Trafford at the weekend. There could be a start for Darren Fletcher, who has missed almost a year of action with a stomach disease. Wayne Rooney is also rumoured to play some part, as he recovers from a gashed leg.

Don’t expect a big crowd at Old Trafford though, as the home side have set their prices ridiculously high for a midweek TV game where neither side will play their strongest team. Newcastle are famous for their amazing travelling support, but £45 for a Capital One Cup game is asking a bit much for many of the Toon Army. Add to the fact that the game is live on Sky Sports and punters can even buy a Champions League ticket for less and the Red Devils have a recipe for a small crowd.

As always with the league cup, there must be a winner on the night, so we could see extra time and penalties if needed. Let’s just hope Cisse stays away from the spot kicks!
By Chief Sports Writer, Marley Anderson