Man Utd pursues League Cup ‘revenge’

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LONDON: Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera says his side will be out for “revenge” when they welcome West Ham United back to Old Trafford in the League Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

West Ham held Herrera and his team-mates to a 1-1 draw on Sunday in a Premier League match that saw United manager Jose Mourinho sent to the stands for angrily kicking a water bottle.

United have made their worst start to a league season since 1989, drawing their last four home games, and Herrera warned Slaven Bilic’s West Ham players to brace themselves for a backlash.

Manchester United’s Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera (center left) goes up for a header with West Ham United’s Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho (center right) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 27. AFP PHOTO

Manchester United’s Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera (center left) goes up for a header with West Ham United’s Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho (center right) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 27. AFP PHOTO

“It’s positive that we are playing on Wednesday, when we can get revenge. We can turn our luck in the next game in the EFL Cup,” said the Spaniard, who won the FA Cup with United last season.

“It doesn’t matter the competition, it doesn’t matter the game; we just want to win. We want to fight for everything and we want to make our fans proud.

“West Ham are a good side — it is not easy to stop them creating chances. They have (Manuel) Lanzini, they have (Diafra) Sakho, they have (Dimitri) Payet, they have (Michail) Antonio. They have very good players.

“But they just created two chances in the whole game. We were the dominant team, so hopefully on Wednesday we can create as many chances as we did (on Sunday) and normally we should win.”

United will be without midfielders Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini through suspension.

Having started on the bench against West Ham on Sunday, captain Wayne Rooney will hope to return to the starting XI as he chases a record-equalling 249th United goal.

Arsenal will have a spring in their step ahead of their home game with Southampton, also on Wednesday, after ending a run of three successive draws by beating Bournemouth 3-1 on Sunday.

But Southampton were also bolstered by a positive weekend result, having consigned former manager Ronald Koeman to a 1-0 defeat on his return to St Mary’s with Everton.

Klopp wary of Leeds
“I felt it played a little bit on the confidence of the team when you do not win for three games,” admitted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has never lifted the League Cup.

“Suddenly, there’s questions. ‘Why do we not win?’ And the fluency goes a bit. These three points (against Bournemouth) will help us.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has pledged not to take unnecessary risks with his team selection for Tuesday’s game at home to second-tier Leeds United.

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho is out with suspected ankle ligament damage, while Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana are also sidelined.

Klopp made 11 changes for Liverpool’s win over Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round, but the only change he would confirm was Simon Mignolet replacing Loris Karius in goal.

“It is about having a line-up which can stand the intensity of the game because Leeds are in a really good moment,” said Klopp, whose side lost on penalties to Manchester City in last season’s final.

“They are a football-playing side and they will force us into a lot of things. We need to work hard in these games so the players need to be fit for this.

“We don’t want to rest somebody who doesn’t need a rest. It is possible we make a few changes; it is possible we will play nearly the same team.”

Leeds, fifth in the second-tier Championship, overcame Norwich City on penalties in the previous round and are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

There could be an upset on the cards in Tuesday’s other fixture, where Premier League strugglers Hull City entertain Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United, who are flying high at the Championship summit.

AFP

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