On Monday evening, the glare of the world’s eyes will fall upon Greenhous Meadow when Manchester United come visiting in this FA Cup fifth round tie with the majority of the attention focused on the visitors and the manager, Louis Van Gaal, in particular.
With United’s current form, coupled with the Monday night atmosphere under the floodlights, it is not a match that the visitors will be relishing, and Shrewsbury will no doubt look to capitalize on that.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the kickoff:
- The Red Devils have lost just once of their last 45 FA Cup games against lower-league opposition, falling at home to Leeds in January 2010 (W37 D7)
- Shrewsbury have won five and lost 14 of their 23 matches against top flight opposition in the FA Cup
- Shrewsbury’s last victory over Premier League opposition came back in 2003 versus Everton at home (2-1 in Round 3)
- Manchester United have won the last six FA Cup fifth round ties that they have been involved in
- All six of Shrewsbury’s goals scored in the FA Cup this season have come in the second half of their games
Captain Wayne Rooney (knee) is expected to be out until April just as he was beginning to rediscover his form, and he has been joined on the sidelines by David De Gea, who picked up a knee injury during the warm-up for the midweek Europa League game.
Marouane Fellaini (muscle), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (illness), and Matteo Darmian (shoulder) have all also picked up problems over the past week, while Donald Love, who was only brought in to the squad recently due to the skeleton nature of the players available, is cup-tied.
They join the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger (MCL), Ashley Young (groin), Phil Jones (knock), Adnan Januzaj (hamstring), Guillermo Varela (knock), Antonio Valencia (foot), Marcos Rojo (shoulder) and Luke Shaw (broken leg) in a packed United treatment room.
Shrewsbury, meanwhile, have largely positive news on the injury front, with former United midfielder Larnell Cole and fourth-round hero Grimmer both expected to be available.
A BIG NIGHT FOR…
Louis Van Gaal. The under fire manager manager would heavily dent his prospects of surviving beyond the summer if he loses tonight. Successive losses to Sunderland and FC Midtjylland have put him under the spotlight once again and will need to rally his team to get back on form
Shrewsbury XI: Leutwiler; Grandison, Whitbread, Knight-Percival; Grimmer, Whalley, Ogogo, Black, Brown; Mangan, Akpa Akpro
Man Utd XI: Romero; McNair, Poole, Smalling, Blind; Carrick, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Herrera, Depay; Martial