By Alex Demarco

A trip to Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium wouldn’t have been high on Jose Mourinho’s priority list a couple of weeks ago, but after a run of three straight defeats, victory is a must.

The Manchester United manager will demand a response from his players in Wednesday night’s EFL Cup third round against a host occupying 11th place in the League One table.

The Cobblers, coming off the back of a 3-1 away defeat to Chesterfield, will be looking to cause an upset and put Mourinho under even more pressure.

All eyes will be on United and their expensively assembled squad that is short on confidence and lacking cohesion.

With a number of first-team players under-performing, this is a chance for the fringe men to stake a claim for a place in the starting XI.

Defender Phil Jones is out for a month with a knee injury, whilst Luke Shaw is also out having suffered a minor groin tear.  Anthony Martial is a doubt following his head injury at Watford on Saturday.

Daley Blind could start at centre-back after being left out of the team for Saturday’s defeat, whilst Memphis Depay and Marcos Rojo could fill in for Martial and Shaw respectively.

Northampton’s 33-year-old striker, Alex Revell, will be looking to add to his four goals this term and cause problems for United’s backline.  Winger Paul Anderson, however, is cup-tied, having played in the first round of the EFL Cup for his previous club, Bradford.

These two sides last met in January 2004, with United emerging victorious following a 3-0 win in the FA Cup fourth round.  The same outcome on Wednesday night would put Mourinho’s men on the road to recovery.

Manchester United potential starting XI (4-2-3-1): Romero; Darmian, Blind, Smalling, Rojo; Carrick, Herrera; Young, Mata, Memphis; Rashford


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