Competition: FA Cup Fourth Round – Derby County vs. Manchester United
Venue: iPro Stadium – Friday, January 29 – 19:55 GMT (14:55 ET)
Match Odds: Derby 100/30 – Draw 12/5 – Man Utd 19/20
Derby welcome Manchester United to the iPro Stadium on Friday evening as fifth in the Championship play fifth in the Premier League in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Derby have hit a rough patch of form of late, losing three of their last four league games and are now seven points off the top of the Championship table.
They beat Hartlepool United 2-1 in the third round but know that the path to the next round has become a lot trickier with United visiting.
The Rams are under pressure to get back to winning ways, and doing so in the FA Cup against Premier League giants would be the perfect way to alleviate that pressure.
Manchester United are certainly under pressure too. They are still five points off of fourth in the Premier League and are still not enough of an attacking threat, despite recording a couple of important wins of late.
They lost 1-0 at home to Southampton in their most recent outing and Louis Van Gaal may have to rest some key men for the trip to Derby, as the Red Devils face Stoke at Old Trafford during the midweek league fixtures.
United go into this game as favourites but a lot will be asked of them, and failure to win will see even more pressure pile on to the club, and particularly the manager.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides since United beat Derby 4-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 2009.
Derby’s last five in all competitions: L/W/D/L/L
Manchester United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/D/W/L
Key Stat: Manchester United have won six-straight FA Cup clashes against Derby, the last five of which have come away from home.
Key Player: Marouane Fellaini – The powerful Belgian midfielder is expected to feature against Derby on Friday night and will look to cause the Championship side all kinds of problems with his fine aerial ability.
Derby 1-1 Manchester United – This is a tough one to call. Neither side are looking as strong as they should be and so a draw looks to be on the cards. That certainly won’t suit United, who could do without another fixture, but they don’t seem strong enough to go and win this game.