Premier League top-four hopefuls Manchester United will face off against Championship side Derby County in a FA Cup fifth round encounter at Pride Park Stadium on Thursday.

On paper, United will be the favourites as they play in a higher division. The Rams could be a tough team to beat and will be aware that United tend to be inconsistent as far as form goes.  

Derby emerged victorious when the teams last met in a Carabao Cup third round match in 2018 on penalties after the game ended 2-2. The game will be an emotional one for Derby attacker Wayne Rooney who will be up against his former team.  

The Red Devils have improved significantly since the January acquisition of Bruno Fernandes and they will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions when they play against the Rams.

United will have to make do without long-term injury casualties Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba for their game against their game against Phillip Cocu’s side.

They will also have to play without young defensive pair Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, according to a report by Goal.

Fernandes has been incredible for United during recent weeks and it remains to be seen whether United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will opt to start him during the game or leave him on the bench.

The Red Devils must go all out to win the FA Cup this season. They have underachieved since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and winning major silverware will set a good platform as they look to re-establish themselves as giants of English football.  

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