Date: 25th September 2007 at 9:39am
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Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha are part of the squad that will take on Coventry City tomorrow.

The Red Devils, who won the Carling Cup in 2006, will start this season’s campaign against Coventry at Old Trafford tomorrow. I bet most of us are not too concerned about the game: that’s the beauty of the League Cup. If you win, good, if you go out, who cares?

Owen Hargreaves is back in the squad after missing the last three games through injury and it will be great if he gets a run-out. However, I don’t really understand why Fergie should play either Saha or Rooney.

All the pundits have been going on about how United are short on strikers. They have a point, as we have only three recognised strikers and one of them spends more time in the treatment room than at home with his family. So why risk this player against Coventry?

Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, is not a man who is prone to injuries – unless it comes to his metatarsal which has the durability of a paperdog. I understand he also has to build up their match fitness but I seriously hope that he will not start. The Carling Cup, as it is, is a perfect chance to give Campbell and Dong some valuable first-team experience.

They should not be deprived of this for the sake of Rooney’s and Saha’s match fitness. When the youngsters are tired, we might bring on the experienced duo (OK, I know one of the experienced duo is yet to turn 22 and is younger than Dong but you know what I mean) but no need to start them, with two games in six days coming up. Just imagine that Saha breaks down again – in a Carling Cup match against the mighty Coventry! It would be more bearable if he suffered another injury against AS Roma.

Here is the squad:

Kuszczak, Heaton, Bardsley, Simpson, Pique, Evans, Lee, Eckersley, Barnes, Hargreaves, Eagles, Hewson, Anderson, Nani, Martin, Rooney, Saha, Dong, Campbell, Brandy.

I would field this starting line-up:
Kusczak – Bardsley, Evans, Pique, Simpson – Eagles, Hargreaves, Anderson, Martin – Campbell, Dong/Brandy

Subs: Rooney, Saha, Heaton, Nani, Lee

Good mix of youth and experience, we could turn around the game if things are not going well and Owen Hargreaves would get a game under his belt. But of course Fergie knows better than I do…