Reds legend Bryan Robson says United have twin aims in the Carling Cup this season: to make it a hat-trick of triumphs in the competition, and continue to blood United's young stars.
The League Cup can act as a springboard for sustained spells of success; in 1992 it was the prelude to early Premier League triumphs, and in 2006 it was a watershed win for the side that would succeed at home and abroad.
But particularly in the early rounds, it's a golden opportunity for emerging talents to grab the manager's attention.
"It’s important that the young players really grasp this opportunity and think to themselves, 'it’s a chance to prove ourselves to the boss'," Robson told ManUtd.com.
As United progress, it's a chance for those young players to experience winning a trophy, whilst also setting up the team for the crucial months of the campaign when all the silverware is won.
"Last season we went on to win the competition," added Robbo. "It’s the first trophy some of those lads had won and it's another pot we can put in the cabinet. The competition isn't just for bringing young players through, but it is very important factor.
"There’s a great opportunity to win the competition again this year. Nearly all the top teams – or what we would class as the top teams – are out of the competition. Arsenal have got a very difficult game up at Newcastle because I’m sure Arsene Wenger will use all of his kids again. So it’s another great opportunity to go on and win this competition again."