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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Fleetwood Town

We take a closer look at tonight's opponents

8 November 2017

After success in the FA Cup at the weekend, United are in further cup action as they face Fleetwood Town in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Blues reached the Second Round of the FA Cup courtesy of a 3-2 win over League One side Oldham, and will look to pick up another victory over a team from the league above when the Cod Army visit Brunton Park.

But Fleetwood will be a tough proposition - having come close to promotion from Sky Bet League One last season, the north-west outfit are pushing once again this year.

We put Uwe Rosler’s team under the spotlight ahead of their visit to the Brunton Park:

Play-Off Push

After a strong start to the season, which saw the Cod Army win their first three league outings, Fleetwood found themselves pushing for top spot in the third tier.

But recent form has been far less impressive, with Rosler’s men picking up only one league win in their last five.

Nonetheless, they still find themselves perched eighth in League One and level on points with Blackburn Rovers in the final play-off place.

If they can rediscover their early season form, then Fleetwood may well be able to sustain another promotion push.

Table Toppers

Going into this final round of Checkatrade Trophy fixtures, Fleetwood currently sit top of Northern Group A thanks to a 100% record so far.

A 3-0 victory over Leicester City U23s was followed up by a 2-1 triumph against Morecambe, meaning the Cod Army need only a point from the trip to Brunton Park to secure progression.

United too, though, can still progress - although if they fail to take maximum points from the League One side their fate will depend upon results elsewhere.

What Does History Tell Us?

The two sides have met only three times in competitive football - all in cup competitions.

And it’s United who have the better of the meetings having claimed victory twice, with the Cod Army only winning the first ever meeting - a Football League Trophy clash which saw David Ball and Antoni Sarcevic score to wrap up a 2-0 win.

The teams then met again in the same competition last season with the Blues this time triumphant at Brunton Park. In an entertaining encounter, goals from Joe McKee, Charlie Wyke, Danny Grainger and Cameron Salkeld ensured a home victory, with Jack Sowerby and Alex Jakubiak’s goals for the visitors merely consolation in a 4-2 defeat.

Below are the highlights from that game:

A third meeting came earlier this season in the Carabao Cup when Shaun Miller’s opener was cancelled out by Jordy Hiwula, before Tom Miller sealed a 2-1 win for the Cumbrians during extra time.

Below are the highlights from that game:

Familiar Faces

Former United midfielder and local lad Kyle Dempsey may well return to his former stomping ground after he rejoined the Cod Army on a permanent deal in the summer.

Having left United for Huddersfield in 2015, the attacking midfielder made a loan switch to Fleetwood last season and, after a string of impressive performances, was snapped up by Rosler on a permanent basis. The midfielder made 47 appearances for the Cumbrians, netting 11 times.

He won’t be the only ex-Carlisle player in with a chance of lining up for the Cod Army, however, as defender Ashley Eastham moved to Highbury last season having previously made a solitary appearance in the FA Cup for United after joining on loan from Blackpool.

Ones to Watch

+ Conor McAleny - A product of the Everton youth academy, McAleny enjoyed no fewer than six loan spells away from Goodison Park. His most recent was the most fruitful as he netted 10 times in 18 appearances at Oxford United earlier this year. Fleetwood beat a host of other clubs to his signature this summer and they now have a real attacking threat among their ranks.

+ Jordy Hiwula - The pacy striker has already netted once against United this season and will be one to watch again in this cup clash. A former Manchester City youngster, Hiwula currently plies his trade for Huddersfield but has joined the Cod Army on a season-long loan from the Premier League. With five goals to his name already this season, he’ll be keen to add more to his tally.

+ Nathan Pond - Club captain, record appearance holder and a world record breaker, Pond is a true Fleetwood veteran and continues to serve them with distinction in his twelfth season at the club. A passionate centre back, Pond has played in more divisions for a single club than any other footballer and has made well over 400 appearances at Highbury. He’s sure to prove a tricky customer for United’s forwards to navigate.


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