FA Cup: Manchester United v Crawley Town Team News

FA Cup: Manchester United v Crawley Town Team News

The draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup pitched together English football aristocrats Manchester United with non-league Crawley Town for the type of David v Goliath contest that has given the FA Cup its unique place in world football.

However, Crawley Town will not be represented by the usual assortment of milkmen, postmen, tradesmen and accountants that typically make up the part-time playing staff in such romantic fixtures, because like United’s neighbours Manchester City, Crawley have been splashing huge sums (in non-league terms) in an effort to improve their League status. Don’t expect the well paid Dutchmen, South Americans and former league professionals of the Blue Square Premier League side to turn up in the back of the coach’s Ford Transit for the game as they look to create history in the Theatre of Dreams.

Matt Tubbs could be the man to fill Sunday’s newspaper headlines having notched three goals for his team in this season’s FA Cup competition. Crawley are thought to have paid a club record fee to sign the prolific striker from Salisbury last summer and the 26-year-old has proven good value scoring 28 goals in 32 appearances for his new club.

Sir Alex Ferguson has already heaped high praise on Crawley Town, proclaiming them the top non-league side in the country and deserved of reaching this stage of the FA Cup. Ferguson has seen his teams struggle to beat non-league sides and United have been taken to a replay the last three times they’ve drawn non-league opponents in FA Cup.

Crawley will make history if they can perform a giant-killing act against United as they will become the first non-league side to go beyond the fifth round of the FA Cup. However this will be the first time the club have faced a top flight side in this competition and it comes against a side that has not conceded a goal against their last four non-league FA Cup opponents.

The atmosphere at Old Trafford can be un-nerving to the most experienced sides and Crawley must not let the occasion get the better of them. They have conceded three red cards in their last three FA Cup games and if they fail to hold their discipline their appearance at the Theatre of Dreams could become a nightmare.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUPS

MANCHESTER UNITED: Lindegaard; O'Shea, Evans, Smalling, Rafael; Gibson, Anderson, Scholes, Obertan; Hernandez, Owen.
CRAWLEY TOWN: Kuipers; Wilson, McFadzean, Mills, Howell; Bulman, Smith, Torres; Cook, Tubbs, McAllister.
 

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