Derby County host Manchester United as Wayne Rooney lines up to face his old side in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The Red Devils have won the competition 12 times, just one time short of Arsenal, and will hope to replicate Louis Van Gaal’s exploits in 2016 to make it a 13th success.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are in good shape and results in February helped maintain their push for the top four, the Europa League and the FA Cup.
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Bruno Fernandes’ introduction has had a massive impact and should they win at Pride Park on Thursday evening, United would have made the quarter-final six seasons in a row.
Man United will be in high spirits having walked away from Goodison Park with a point courtesy of a controversial VAR decision. Dominic Calvert-Lewin's late strike, which was chalked off meaning United gained a crucial point, consolidated fifth place for them in the Premier League and so will be looking to carry that momentum forward.
Recent results against the Rams favour them too as Derby are winless in their last five meetings with the men from Old Trafford, despite having dumped them out of the Carabao Cup on penalties in 2018.
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Meanwhile the Manchester club’s record top goalscorer, 34-year-old Derby player coach Wayne Rooney, will be raring to go for the Rams against his old club.
Phillip Cocu’s side have been strong at Pride Park this year despite an underwhelming league campaign and have already knocked Premier League opposition out of the competition- Crystal Palace in the third round.
However, it is likely that United will prove too much for the Dutchman’s side to handle.
A recent run of four games without a win until their clash with Sheffield Wednesday, and currently sitting in 13th in the Championship doesn't make for the best preparation against a renewed United side.
Even so, the prospect of Rooney adding to his four goal tally against his former employers is an enticing one to say the least and will only add to the drama of an emotional occasion for both Rooney and his former side.
Derby will be without Tom Huddlestone, Duane Holmes and Krystian Bielik for the visit of United, but can call upon Curtis Davies after his return from injury.
The aforementioned Rooney is a shoo-in to start, as is another former United player in Tom Lawrence, who scored twice in Derby’s win over Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
Odion Ighalo could be in line to start for Manchester United, should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wish to rotate his side during a busy period.
Sergio Romero should continue in goal whilst the likes of Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata will look to provide experience in attack, presumably in the absence of a rested Bruno Fernandes.