Three reasons Manchester United will win the Carabao Cup

The Hard Tackle gives three reasons Manchester United will beat Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

The first trophy of the season will be up for grabs when Manchester United and Newcastle United face off in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday. And the winner will lift the trophy, with fans likely to briefly forget naming it the “Mickey Mouse Cup”.

The Red Devils head into the encounter as the slight favourites, considering their form and trophy-winning pedigree. One spot and Seven points separate Manchester United and Newcastle United. And the Magpies have struggled to put together a run of wins in the last few weeks.

Meanwhile, Manchester United will be desperate to end the recent trophy drought in the wake of the latest comments by Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman is adamant that winning titles is more important than getting credit from pundits and the media.

Considering the Red Devils have not won a trophy for a few years, ten Hag will be eager to see his charges get the monkey off their backs. And beating a team on the rise will be an ideal way for ten Hag to earn rave reviews while winning his first title as the Manchester United boss.

Newcastle United will undoubtedly be a hard nut to crack due to the oft-praised defensive solidity of Eddie Howe’s team. But Manchester United will have the tools to usurp the Magpies when the two teams meet in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley this weekend.

With that in mind, this piece will argue why Manchester United will beat Newcastle United in this season’s Carabao Cup final. (The other part of this series, which has discussed why the Magpies will win the League Cup, is also up. You can give it a read here).

Magical Marcus Rashford to continue his phenomenal run

Will Rashford deliver the goods again for Manchester United? (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag has arguably the most in-form player in the world at his disposal. And he is none other than Marcus Rashford, who has taken the game by storm since returning to club footballing action after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The 25-year-old has 16 goals across all competitions in the last two months, making him the most prolific player in the top-five European leagues since the World Cup ended. No longer is he dealing with the confidence issues that plagued him in the 2021/22 season.

Rashford has also overcome his fitness issues and is in peak condition right now. A knock seemed to have derailed his campaign when he sustained a minor injury against Manchester City. But ten Hag’s support staff has worked diligently with the Englishman to overcome fatigue-based problems.

The in-form attacker looks like he will find the back of the net whenever he takes the field these days. And Rashford will fancy his chances of beating Loris Karius when he gets in and around the Newcastle United box. And it will not be surprising to see Rashford produce his trademark celebration on Sunday, pointing his finger to his head while guiding Manchester United to the Carabao Cup triumph.

Colossal Casemiro to dominate the midfield battle

Casemiro has made a world of difference since joining Manchester United from Real Madrid. His arrival at Old Trafford produced a mixed response from fans, pundits and the media. While some questioned his ability to settle down in the Premier League, others suggested he was not world-class.

But those who insisted that the Brazilian international had the tools to galvanise Manchester United will be grinning from ear to ear. For Casemiro has vindicated those believers, showing why he was the glue that held the Real Madrid midfield together. And he is now essaying a similar role for Manchester United.

The Red Devils have come through relatively unscathed from his absence in the last three Premier League games. While Manchester United dropped points at Old Trafford against Leeds United, they won the subsequent two matches. And those results have helped them remain within touching distance of the leaders.

But Casemiro’s return will help Manchester United dominate the midfield battle against Newcastle United. The 30-year-old will likely produce a colossal performance to neutralise compatriot Bruno Guimaraes, another player who has completed a spell on the sidelines due to a suspension.

Bruno Guimaraes has transformed Newcastle United and is the key to unlocking stubborn defences. But the Brazilian international will have to overcome the Casemiro wall before reaching the Manchester United backline. And that will be a tall order for Newcastle United, especially with Fred performing brilliantly. Expect Casemiro to hold the midfield and dominate the battle in the middle of the park.

Nick Pope’s absence and the massive downgrade to Loris Karius

Manchester United will look to exploit Loris Karius’s lack of game time against Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

In the other part of our series, we discussed how Loris Karius has the chance to redeem himself in his first outing for Newcastle United. But we reckon the 29-year-old will be a significant downgrade from Nick Pope, who misses this match due to suspension.

The English international saw red in the Premier League game against Liverpool this past weekend. And the experienced goalkeeper will miss the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United. That will be a killer blow to Newcastle United’s aspirations.

Deputy Martin Dubravka cannot take his place between the sticks as he is cup-tied after playing for Manchester United in the competition earlier this season. And ironically, the Slovakian shot-stopper will receive a winner’s medal if the Red Devils win the final.

Coming to Karius, the 29-year-old is yet to turn out for Newcastle United since joining them in September. And the former Liverpool goalkeeper is walking into a scenario akin to Ryan Mason managing Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final two years ago.

The German goalkeeper has the shot-stopping ability to thwart Manchester United. But he does not command the box nearly as well as Pope. And the cards are stacked against Karius heading into the Carabao Cup final at Wembley this weekend. Expect Erik ten Hag’s men to make merry in Pope’s absence on Sunday.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.