Date: 18th February 2011 at 4:11pm
Written by:

Ever since the draw for the FA Cup 5th round was made, the nation has been waiting and watching, wondering if little old Crawley can come to Old Trafford and do a number on the greatest club this country of ours has ever produced.

It`s intriguing to watch on, from afar, to see if the last non-league club left in the competition can cause a major upset and knock the current Premier League leaders out of the FA Cup.

If they were to do so it`d make David slaying Goliath look like the norm!

Could it happen? Not a chance in hell!

Vital Quotes:

Crawley know they have nothing to lose and ahead of the game, Steve Evans seems pretty confident that they will get something from the game, remarking,

“I think that we are genuinely one of the teams that could get a positive result there.”

“It will be just Manchester United v Crawley Town, and as far fetched as that sounds, that`s what it is.”

“We settled on our team last night and we have a reasonable idea of what team they will put out.”

Don`t you just love a confident man!

Manchester United Team News:

Sir Alex Ferguson, mindful of the forthcoming Champions League fixture against Marseille, is probably quite relieved that Crawley are our opponents this weekend. Whilst not wishing to be disrespectful, the fixture does give Sir Alex the chance to play some of his fringe players knowing full well that they should be good enough to see off the plucky non-league team.

Here at Vital Manchester United we reckon that Sir Alex could well give starts to Anders Lindegaard, Wes Brown, John O`Shea, Darren Gibson and Javier Hernandez.

Not up for consideration are the injured Owen Hargreaves, Antonio Valencia, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand.

Player to watch: Darren Gibson

Much ahs been made of the suggestion, made by his international manager, that he should leave Old Trafford to ensure his career progresses as it should, this fixture seem sot be the ideal opportunity to show that he can still grasp a place in the Old Trafford starting eleven on amore regular basis.

Crawley Town Team News:

The Crawley manager, Steve Evans, brings his side to Old Trafford looking to cause a huge upset. One player gutted to be missing will be Scott Neilson with the midfielder not having recovered form a foot injury.

Having played a league match at Wrexham, in midweek, Evans rested Pablo Mills but he will be in the starting eleven this time out.

Player to watch: Matthew Tubbs

Has scored twenty-eight goals this season including three in the FA Cup, I reckon he`d just love to add a goal at Old Trafford to his growing tally!

Match Facts & Stats

Suffice to say these two sides have never previously met. But, if Crawley can eek out a draw they will clash for the second time on Tuesday 1st March.

In the FA Cup, United have the distinction of having won it the most times, eleven in all.

Crawley have already beaten league opposition in the form of Swindon, Derby and Torquay this season.

Crawley might take heart from the fact that the last two occasions United have met opposition from the fifth tier of English football they were held to 0-0 draws both time, with Exeter and Burton taking the honours.

Ref Watch:

The officials in charge are Lee Probert (referee), Darren Cann and Patrick Keane (assistants) and Lee Mason (fourth official)

Match Prediction:

If I were to suggest anything other than a United win you lot would be carting me away to a lunatic asylum. Forget the magic of the FA Cup, common sense tells you that Crawley, although they`ll pit up a plucky fight and look smart in their Sun sponsored shirts, are going to get beat. All that remains is to discuss the magnitude of the defeat. If United can get an early goal we could be in for a thrashing but if Crawley can frustrate us the optimism levels of the nation will be raised. I reckon Crawley will have done remarkably well if they can keep the defeat down to a four goal margin!

Next Fixtures:

After all the hum-drum of being involved in a right old David and Goliath FA Cup tie, we travel to Marseilles for a Champions League fixture in midweek.