Five reasons why the U’s can complete a hat-trick of Cup shocks at Manchester United

Tom Lapslie scores the key spot kick in the penalty shoot-out to beat Tottenham in the Carabao Cup.

Tom Lapslie scores the key spot kick in the penalty shoot-out to beat Tottenham in the Carabao Cup. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

It won’t happen, of course, but it is possible to compile a list of reasons why Colchester United COULD produce a huge upset at Old Trafford this evening.

Dean Gerken celebrates during the U's penalty shoot-out victory over Tottenham. Can Gerken repeat hi

Dean Gerken celebrates during the U's penalty shoot-out victory over Tottenham. Can Gerken repeat his exploits at Manchester United in the quarter-finals? Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Mighty Manchester United, League Cup winners five times, First Division champions 20 times, FA Cup winners on 12 occasions - I won't even bother to venture into their European successes - should breeze through tonight's Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at a canter inside the 'Theatre of Dreams.'

The League Two U's, who have reached this stage of the competition just once before - in 1974-75, when Jim Smith was the manager and Bobby Svarc was banging in the goals - are expected to enjoy their big night out, suffer defeat and so return to the main business in hand, which is plotting a way out of the fourth tier.

And yet funny things happen in football. So here's a list of five reasons why John McGreal's Colchester United could spring a big surprise tomorrow night (just to reiterate, this CAN'T and WON'T happen .... will it?).

Spot on: Luke Norris, firing home his penalty in the U's 4-3 shoot-out victory over Tottenham, will

Spot on: Luke Norris, firing home his penalty in the U's 4-3 shoot-out victory over Tottenham, will spearhead the attack at Old Trafford. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

1 ROCHDALE EXPERIENCE


You may also want to watch:


Earlier this season, unfashionable Rochdale showed that it is possible to match Manchester United, on their home turf, when drawing 1-1 in a Carabao Cup tie in late September.

A 16-year-old, Luke Matheson, netted a Dale equaliser with 16 minutes remaining to force a penalty shoot-out, which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men won 5-4.

Most Read

United had 31 shots that night, but scored just once in 90 minutes. A reason to dream, for U's fans.

2 U's ARE SPOT ON

They've done it twice before, so why not a hat-trick of penalty shoot-out successes, against Premier League opposition?

Crystal Palace were held to a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park, and dispatched 5-4 on spot kicks, while Tottenham were famously frustrated in a 0-0 draw at the Community Stadium, and were humbled 4-3 in the penalty drama.

Anyone for a hat-trick? Why not? As we all know, a penalty shoot-out is a lottery, a leveller, a time to dream. And the U's have a proven penalty shot-stopper in Dean Gerken.

3 NO PRESSURE

All the pressure will be on a young Manchester United side, and pressure can do strange things to individuals, and teams.

4 IN-FORM

League form is not always an indicator of giant-killing potential, but the U's are unbeaten in five league games. That breeds confidence.

5 MATCH WINNERS

The U's do pose a threat up top, and Luke Norris, who bagged his seventh goal of the season at Scunthorpe on Saturday, will be champing at the bit.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter