Could Wolves hunt down an upset against Fergie’s reserves?
Manchester United are on a real high after their 96th minute winner against rivals City at the weekend, but will they be brought back down to earth against Wolverhampton Wanderers?
The newly promoted side are massive outsiders for this Carling Cup clash at odds of 8/1, but with the hosts set to ring the changes - as they normally do for the early rounds of the cup, Mick McCarthy must surely be less overawed than if Wayne Rooney and other such top stars were to be involved.
While Old Trafford is still a daunting place to visit McCarthy knows that this game - and the cup in general, is something that he can just go out and enjoy as survival is what he will be graded on come the end of the season.
The Yorkshireman has been boosted by the return of two instrumental players from Wolves' promotion campaign; midfield ace Michael Kightly and last season's top scorer Sylvan Ebanks-Blake - the pair could both start after coming off the bench in their recent home win over Fulham.
That win, whilst hard-fought after conceding a penalty to halve their deficit, was only their 2nd league victory of the season - even after a kinder-than-it-could've been opening six fixtures. It's a sign of the task ahead for Wolves if they are to retain their Premier League status.
United on the other hand have had a fairly comfortable opening to the new season winning four games out of five - only suffering defeat against fellow new-boys Burnley at Turf Moor, the Red Devils could however count themselves fortunate to have been allowed the injury-time they received against City at the weekend but you couldn't argue that their efforts in the game didn't deserve the three points.
As ever at Old Trafford Ferguson's team find themselves as odds-on favourites; despite what is likely to be a second-string team that enters the field, the hosts are 1/3 to make it through to the 4th round in 90 minutes (1/9 just to qualify by any means). The draw is 4/1 while McCarthy's side are a whopping 8/1 to knock out the holders in normal time (5/1 to progress by any method).
Much like United's great rivals Liverpool, their team for Carling Cup games is not easy to predict but it looks likely that Michael Owen will earn a starting place after his late, late winner at the weekend - the former England international is a 10/3 shot to grab the opening goal on Wednesday night.
For Wolves, should he start, Ebanks-Blake will be keen to remind his former employers of what they are missing and at 10/1 is a huge price to get the first goal of the game.
We now offer 'coupled goalscorers' on all live matches so to cover your options: Michael Owen or Sylvain Ebanks-Blake to score first at 11/5 could be a nice little earner.
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