Cambridge United vs Manchester United: FA Cup match preview

A look ahead to Friday evening’s FA Cup fixture at the Abbey Stadium

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The Independent Football

League Two side Cambridge United could cause one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history when they welcome Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United to a sell-out Abbey Stadium on Friday night.

The U’s are the lowest-ranked team left in the Cup and come into the tie unbeaten in 2015 while their opponents have lost just once in their last thirteen matches in all competitions. Van Gaal’s Red Devils avoided a giant-killing in the last round when they beat League One outfit Yeovil Town and will aim to reach the fifth round for only the third time in six seasons.

Victor Valdes could be in line to make his Man United debut after joining the club on a free earlier this month. He may be joined in the line-up by Robin van Persie, who has recovered from an ankle injury, but reports suggest van Gaal will choose to rest his Dutch compatriot in favour of youngster James Wilson, who scored in the Red Devils’ 2-0 win at QPR last Saturday.

Cambridge’s tireless midfielder Tom Champion will face a fitness test after bruising his knee in the U’s impressive 4-0 win over promotion-chasing Newport on Saturday. Meanwhile, Norwich City loanee Cameron McGeehan will hope a debut brace in the victory was enough to earn him a place in the team.

Man United will have to look out for Newcastle youth product Ryan Donaldson, who scored three times as the U’s won twice at Wembley last season. The 23-year-old was twice named Man of the Match as Richard Money’s men triumphed in both the FA Trophy final and the Conference play-off final. It was his solo effort that proved decisive in the previous round, as Cambridge beat rivals Luton 2-1.

KICK-OFF: Friday, 7.55pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Cambridge United 1 (Dublin) Manchester United (McClair) 1, League Cup, October 1991

Manchester United 3 (Bruce, McClair, Giggs) Cambridge United 0, League Cup, September 1991

STATS…

Seventy-five places separate the two Uniteds in the League pyramid

Man United have won nine of their last ten FA Cup ties against lower league sides

Cambridge have progressed in two of their last five Cup ties against topflight opposition

This will be Manchester United’s 44 consecutive televised tie

Cambridge winger Ryan Donaldson scored as many goals at Wembley in 2014 as the entire Man United squad (3)

ODDS…

Cambridge to win: 18

Man United to win: 1.22

Draw: 7

TV: Live on BBC One 1 at 7.55pm, highlights on BBC1 on Saturday at 10.25pm.

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