There’s a part of me that thinks this cup tie is merely to capture the expression on Bruno Fernandes’ face when he walks out Kenilworth Road at 8.15pm.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has gone on the blame the lack of preparation his side faced for their miserable beginning to the season against Crystal Palace, which probably isn’t a wise move given the fact he’s the one responsible for it.
This tie isn’t really about just Man United, though – Luton are the form side heading into this tie as they’re one of just three teams in the Championship to have won both their opening games.
James Collins is going to be an absolute nightmare for what you’d expect will be a strong United outfit.
Regardless of their potentially world-class midfield, they’ve still got a back four with the aggregated spatial awareness of a wild gazelle with a box on its head. There’s never been an easy night in Luton, and don’t expect Tuesday to be a bundle of joy for United either.
Here’s your three best bets:
This will be the most confident bet I place all week, I’m telling you. Collins may have his limitations, and time probably isn’t on his side to launch his career now, but there’s absolutely nobody in the Football League better in the air.
In his brief spells with Ireland he’s failed to impress, but he’s now a cult hero at Luton and 59 goals in just 139 appearances for the club mean that his legacy will endure.
United can wheel out any central defensive partnership they wish, they’re still going to be absolutely horrified when the first long ball comes right down on top of them – only to realise that they’re being bullied by a bloke who won’t make their weekly income in a year.
If not for the embarrassment at the weekend against Palace, I’d really fancy Luton to bring this to penalties. But I suspect Ole, for his side’s self-confessed lack of sharpness, will want to give some starters a run-out.
The traders probably think the same, given the price.
You could even see a Man United team that features Donny van de Beek and Mason Greenwood from the start.
Luton aren’t exactly the most light-handed in the penalty area and with Man United’s history of penalties (both for and against) over the last few seasons, it’d be a wise choice to keep it onside.
And the same applies for United – when crosses come in and they’re being bossed by Collins, they’re liable to grab him.
So, we might not get a shootout, but we could end seeing spot kicks galore anyway.
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