The FA Cup fifth round proper comes to an end with an intriguing tie as League One promotion hopefuls Preston North End entertain Manchester United.
After disappointment in the play-offs last season, the hosts are in the shake-up again at the top of the third tier, but have ground to make up if they are to achieve automatic promotion. Following a poor January, they come into this with three successive wins including in the fourth round replay against Sheffield United.
Top scorer Joe Garner scored both in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Chesterfield, and the prolific striker will provide the Lilywhites’ biggest threat. They also have the experienced Kevin Davies in their ranks, while United’s vulnerability from set-pieces could be capitalised upon by defender Paul Huntington, who has found a scoring touch this season.
Louis van Gaal and his Man Utd side should know what to expect in this one, having faced lower league opponents in cup competitions four times already in 2014-15. The Dutchman will hope that the job is done more convincingly than in the last round against Cambridge United, where they needed a replay.
There will also be an improvement demanded after the below-par showing against Burnley in the Premier League last time out, despite their 3-1 victory. In was a performance that lacked fluency and attacking flair. Van Gaal will field a strong side, with intrigue over whether captain Wayne Rooney will remain in midfield.
Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and forward Daniel Johnson are both cup-tied for Preston, who are without the injured Jermaine Beckford. Man Utd are without Michael Carrick, while Daley Blind and Phil Jones are major doubts.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Preston