28/01/2024 – 18:30

The Fourth Round of the FA Cup sees Premier League giant’s Manchester United make the trip to Rodney Parade to take on League Two side Newport County on Sunday.

The League Two club has already faced three teams and played five games before reaching this stage and will fancy their chances against a rather uncertain United outfit. Regardless of the outcome of this result, Newport County would have benefitted hugely from this tie and this overall cup run. It is believed that apart from the earlier ticket sales in the tournament, the club will make an estimated £400,000 from this tie alone. Newport will use those funds to further upgrade facilities and bring in potential player additions to the club. Not to mention how many new fans the club could gain as the roughly 9500-capacity stadium with temporary stands has sold out in back-to-back games.

United have been extremely busy in the backroom with Sir Jim Ratcliffe stepping in and his INEOS group bringing the changes amongst the hierarchy at the club, but will we see an improved team on the field is the question on everyone’s mind. There’s been a buzz around Old Trafford with new faces stepping in to steer the club, but no indication’s as to whether new signings will be made before the January transfer window closes. However, many of the long term absentees have been returning and this comes at a vital time.

The Red Devils are still missing some key players ahead of this fixture: Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount, Victor Lindelöf, and Harry Maguire have all picked up injuries that rule them out. Goalkeeper André Onana and midfielder Sofyan Amrabat will be unavailable as they are playing for Cameroon and Morocco in AFCON, respectively. This will be the ideal game to start the likes of Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez, both have returned from long-term injuries and would enjoy a game like this to get back into the rhythm.

The Exiles are known for their knack of slaying some giants in the past. They’ve ousted the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Middlesbrough, and Leeds United and nothing could be sweeter than taking out the mighty Manchester United in front of their minority faithful. They go into this fixture with only one injury concern in their recent starting team, as loanee Matt Baker picked up an injury during the win over Doncaster Rovers.

Newport will aim to play the game of their lives, but Erik Ten Hag’s men should be aware of the pressure on them and should come away with a comfortable victory.

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