Man Utd aim to end their six-year trophy drought, while Newcastle seek their first major trophy since 1969.

WHO: Manchester United vs Newcastle United
When: Sunday, February 26 – 13:00 GMT
Where: Wembley Stadium, London

Manchester United will try to end their six-year trophy drought when Erik ten Hag’s resurgent side take on Newcastle in the League Cup final, while the Saudi-funded Magpies revolution could produce the the club’s first grand prix since 1969.

As underperforming members of the English soccer aristocracy in recent years, Man Utd hope that the masterpiece at Wembley on Sunday can serve as a long-awaited renaissance.

Reveling in their role as irritating nouveau riche to the Premier League’s powers, however, Newcastle believe the final can serve as concrete proof that they are now a force to be reckoned with.

Man Utd’s trophy drought

Manchester United have not won a major trophy since the 2017 Europa League, an award they clinched just weeks after beating Southampton in their most recent League Cup final appearance.

As if their longest trophy drought in 40 years wasn’t bad enough, United also suffered the indignity of seeing their bitter rival Manchester City surpass them as England’s pre-eminent footballing force.

United, who last won the title in 2013, finished sixth in the Premier League last season.

But after a decade in the desert, they have been revived by ten Hag since their arrival from Ajax last year.

Ten Hag has tried to temper expectations in his first season, but knows that victory this weekend would be a significant moment for a club coming out of the doldrums.

“It is a great opportunity to get the trophies. The fans are really looking forward to it and that’s why we do everything we can to give them their honor,” ten Hag said.

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United is a doubt for the final on Sunday (Phil Noble/Reuters)

Newcastle will not be easy to convince

Fueled by the shrewd management of Eddie Howe and the financial might of its Saudi-backed owners, Newcastle are unlikely to be pushovers.

Once considered the laughing stock of the Premier League, Newcastle are emerging as a genuine force for the first time since Kevin Keegan’s ‘cheerleaders’ came close to winning the title in the 1990s.

It’s an astonishingly quick rise for a team mired in the relegation zone when Howe was hired shortly after the $376 million acquisition of unpopular former owner Mike Ashley at the end of 2021.

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund has an 80 per cent stake in the club, but Howe is the public face of Newcastle’s renaissance.

Despite a recent dip in form, Newcastle are fifth in the Premier League, just two places behind Man United. For this weekend, they are focused on winning the club’s first major trophy since the Inter-City Fairs Cup in 1969. Newcastle’s last domestic grand prix came in 1955 when they lifted the FA Cup.

For a city so obsessed with football, going decades without a trophy has been cruel punishment for the long-suffering ‘Toon Army’, who will see Newcastle’s first national final since losing to United in the 1999 FA Cup.

Statistics Pack

2 – Manchester United have beaten Newcastle two out of three times in the League Cup.

1 – Newcastle will make their first League Cup final appearance since 1976, with their gap of 47 years the longest between finals in League Cup history.

0 – The Magpies have lost their last four major finals (1974, 1998 and 1999 FA Cup final, 1976 League Cup final) since winning the 1969 Fairs Cup final.

10 – Manchester United are competing in their tenth League Cup final, with only Liverpool (13) playing more.

5 – Manchester United have won the League Cup five times.

8 – Newcastle have lost their last eight games at Wembley.

What managers say

ten witches: “(When) you are playing for Manchester United and you have to create your own legacy, therefore you have to win trophies. We are going in the right direction and on Sunday we have the opportunity to win a trophy”.

Howe: “We have beaten very good teams and we have been very consistent with our form. We believe that the power is in our hands and it is up to us to perform at the highest level. We are determined to try and do that and create great memories for our incredible fans.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *