Featured Matches
Previous
Manchester City
Liverpool
(1) 2
(3) 2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Guadalajara
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
AS Trencin
Hull City
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Mlada Boleslav
Lyon
1
4
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Aberdeen
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Shakhter Karagandy
Hajduk Split
4
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Astana 1964
AIK Solna
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Neftchi Baku PFC
Chikhura Sachkhere
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Omonia Nicosia
Metalurg
3
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
Liberec
3
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ruch Chorzow
Esbjerg FB
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Moscow
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Elfsborg
FH Hafnarfjordur
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Karabükspor
Rosenborg
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Mlada Boleslav
Lyon
1
4
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AS Trencin
Hull City
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Brommapojkarna
Torino
0
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
St. Pölten
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Minsk
CFR Cluj-Napoca
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
IFK Goteborg
Rio Ave
0
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FC Zorya Luhansk
Molde
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
BSC Young Boys
Ermis Aradippou
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
RNK Split
FC Chornomorets Odessa
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
S.V. Zulte Waregem
Shakhter Soligorsk
2
5
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Petrolul Ploiesti
Viktoria Plzen
1
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Víkingur Gøta
Rijeka
1
5
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Mainz
Asteras Tripolis
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Diosgyor VTK
Kuban Krasnodar
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Stjarnan
Lech Poznan
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Sarajevo
Atromitos
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Aberdeen
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Club Brugge
Brøndby
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
St Johnstone
FC Spartak Trnava
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
SV Grödig Amateure
Zimbru Chisinau
7:05 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Guadalajara
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Londrina
Santos FC
12:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
Paysandu SC
12:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Unión Comercio
Sport Huancayo
3
0
FT
Game Details
Melgar
San Martin
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Cristal
León de Huánuco
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sky Blue FC
Western New York Flash
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 28, 2009

O'Shea expecting youngsters to be tested

John O'Shea is expecting a much tougher Carling Cup battle against Tottenham than many are predicting.

Manchester United will start as clear favourites for the first domestic cup final of the season, with Tottenham still languishing near the Premier League's drop zone and lacking a number of key men, including cup-tied captain Robbie Keane.

Few give Spurs any chance of derailing United's bid for an unprecedented trophy five-timer at stage two, especially as the world club champions dismissed Harry Redknapp's men from the FA Cup last month with staggering ease given they had fallen behind.

But O'Shea is not buying into the theory that Spurs can be rolled over.

The Republic of Ireland international has been around long enough to know cup finals are rarely predictable affairs.

''We will be put down as clear favourites but it is going to be a lot tighter than people think,'' said O'Shea. ''They are the holders and like us, they know what it takes to win it and we know how pleasing it is. I am sure they will want to experience that again.''

Although it is three years since United achieved the last of their two solitary triumphs in the competition, they only need to trawl back nine months for their last final victory, that tense never-to-be-forgotten Champions League night in Moscow.

Now, as then, Sir Alex Ferguson will use his pre-match team-talk to implore his players not to waste the opportunity in front of them.

''He always tells us cup finals don't come around too often,'' revealed O'Shea. ''You never know what happens in your career. It could be your last one so you must make sure you try to win it.''

Given United's dominance of the English game just now, it is difficult to envisage them going too long without reaching another final.

The same is not true of individual players, some of whom are in the process of proving to Ferguson they have a long-term future at Old Trafford.

Danny Welbeck and, more obviously, Darron Gibson fall into that category.

For Gibson it could be the most crucial afternoon of his entire career. Little wonder he has been trying to ignore it.

''I haven't thought too much about Wembley because if I did I think I might too nervous,'' Gibson said. ''I don't want the occasion to get the better of me so not thinking about it is the best way of coping.''

But O'Shea will also be on hand to offer support, not just to his international colleague but also to Welbeck.

After all, it was only six years ago that the Waterford-born defender experienced a final atmosphere for the first time, as a non-playing substitute in the defeat by Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium, one of four losses United have suffered at the last hurdle of the competition.

''You have to try to soak the atmosphere up fairly quickly,'' said O'Shea. ''The young lads have shown the talent to go and express themselves on such a big stage and really enjoy it.

''But friends and family will be there and the whole thing can bypass you a little bit.

''That is where the experience of the manager and older players comes in to make sure everyone is settled and calm. We want the young ones to deal with the nerves and show how good they are.''

With Gary Neville set to miss out, Ferguson must decide whether to utilise O'Shea at right-back and bring in either Patrice Evra or Rio Ferdinand, or trust the untested abilities of Fabio Da Silva, Rafael's brother.

As Anderson's fitness after a recent ankle injury may only be at a level to take a seat on the bench, Paul Scholes is set to partner Gibson.

Scholes surprisingly has never been a League Cup winner, with a serious eye injury ruling him out of the 2006 hammering of Wigan.

Victory would represent the second step towards an unprecedented 'quintuple' for United.

The subject - or word - is not something that gets discussed at United's Carrington training complex. But when pushed, O'Shea cannot see why it should not become a reality.

''It is not bringing us any extra pressure,'' he smiled. ''If we did lose the Carling Cup final and still won a treble, people wouldn't be crying about it. But winning breeds confidence, this is the next one in a possibility of a five trophies. We have a talented team, why not?''

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.