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Nic Ladds 26th Oct 2009 - 21:08

Back to business as usual for the United win machine

Although punters often take a cautious approach to the Carling Cup with the big teams playing weakened sides, Sir Alex Ferguson knows full well his youngsters are capable of making pre-match odds of 4/11 look huge come full time.

Barnsley at odds of 11/2 may be meeting a smarting Manchester United at exactly the wrong time as no one hates losing like Ferguson does and he will want to come straight back with a win and his young guns have the tools to hurt Mark Robins' side.

A draw at 16/5 would not be pleasing the United manager as with fixtures pilling up, he'll be wanting fresh legs and this is a great chance for Federico Macheda (9/2 to score first) and Danny Welbeck (5/1) to show what they can do up front and put the game to bed early.

It won't be a total youth team with the likes of Nani (11/4 to score anytime) and Antonio Valencia (7/2) likely to start on the flanks which should provide the Barnsley defence with a real test.

Barnsley don't mind rising to a challenge though as they showed in the last round seeing off Burnley 3-2 and they memorably knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup last year and with a 'nothing to lose, everything to gain' attitude, they could be dangerous to a wounded United side.

Daniel Bogdanovic will hope his Carling Cup record continues, having scored three of Barnsley's six goals in the competition and he is 10/1 to bag the first goal or 7/2 to score anytime, while Andy Gray  and Jon Macken are 9/1 and 10/1 respectively to stun United with the first goal.

The Tykes are low on confidence having suffered successive league defeats but they will need no motivation for this and as many say, form goes out the window in a cup game, and wouldn't it be a real fairytale story if Barnsley could come from behind and win and justify the odds of 20/1 on offer?

Realistically though, punters will be wanting to look at United victories and a rout isn't that likely so 1-0 and 2-0 United both at 9/2 or even 2-1 at 7/1 look in the right ball park, while a historic 1-0 win to the home side is 12/1 or for another thrilling 3-2 win, 50/1 is available.

This should be quite an interesting game with a host of keen youngsters and fringe players hoping to make their mark for United while a team of underdogs who have been here before can be dangerous to any side and an upset is not out of the question.

Given United's questionable defence in the Premier League it is reasonable to think Barnsley can at least score but to win is a big ask and 2-1 to the away side at 7/1 looks the call, while Valencia has scored a couple recently and looks a fair bet to notch the first one here at 10/1.


Man Utd to win 2-1

Antonio Valencia to score first - 10/1


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