Louis van Gaal and his players know the pressure is on to avoid an FA Cup (Emirate Cup) upset as Manchester United visit League One Shrewsbury Town in the fifth round on Monday.
United travel to Shropshire in crisis after a 2-1 Premier League defeat to Sunderland was followed by a toothless 2-1 loss at Midtjylland in the Europa League, with goalkeeper David de Gea adding to Van Gaal’s woes by getting injured in the warm-up in Denmark.
The winners between Shrewsbury Town and Manchester United will face West Ham United at home in the sixth round of the Emirates FA Cup following Sunday evening’s draw.
United beat Sheffield United and Derby County in the previous rounds and will face the Shrews with a place in the last eight on offer.
The potential quarter-final tie against West Ham will be played between Friday 11 and Monday 14 March, which is the weekend before United and Manchester City meet in the derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester United and Shrewsbury Town are preparing for their FA Cup tie on an equal footing.
The injured Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, who will be absent from the tie through injury, has seldom enjoyed the FA Cup, a trophy he has never won.
Rooney will either be watching from the sidelines or at home with his family.
Reports say hundreds of people braved the sub-zero temperatures to secure their seats to watch the all important match and the queue snaked its way around Shrewsbury’s stadium car park’s perimeter and out of the club’s main gates.
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is a football club in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, which plays in League One, the third tier of the English football league system.
Photo: Shrewsbury Town New Meadow Stadium where United will be facing an old small town club
The club was formed in 1886 and was elected to The Football League in 1950, where it has played in all of its bottom three divisions, apart from spending the 2003–04 season in the Conference Premier. It has also competed in the Welsh Cup, winning it six times, a record for an English team.
From 1910 onwards, the club was based at Gay Meadow on the banks of the River Severn; since 2007, they have played at the New Meadow, a UEFA Category four stadium with a capacity of 9,875.
Well, today is today. Let’s see what happens between the Goliath, Manchester United and the David, Shrewsbury Town FC . . .
Up Man U!
EMIRATES FA CUP SIXTH ROUND
Reading v Crystal Palace
Everton v Chelsea
Arsenal or Hull City v Watford
Shrewsbury Town or Manchester United v West Ham United