Who will play in goal against Forest?
Erik ten Hag has opted to rotate his goalkeepers during Manchester United's journey to the 2022/23 Carabao Cup semi-finals.
David De Gea has been rested for all three games so far, with Martin Dubravka, who was recalled by Newcastle United earlier in January, featuring in Old Trafford wins over Aston Villa and Burnley - his only two appearances during his short loan spell with the Reds.
Tom Heaton made his maiden start during the quarter-final success against Charlton Athletic, while Jack Butland is also available having joined from Crystal Palace on loan this month.
So, who will Ten Hag give the gloves to at The City Ground on Wednesday evening? Our writers make the case for each of Butland, De Gea and Heaton...
Our recent loan signing may still be awaiting his first competitive action of the season but is fit and eligible for the Carabao Cup, having not played for Crystal Palace in the previous rounds. The 29-year-old is very experienced and will have been looking to impress at Carrington, as he hopes to make his debut for the Reds. Ten Hag fielded Dubravka against Aston Villa and Burnley, then Heaton kept a clean sheet in the win over Charlton, suggesting he views this cup as a chance to rest De Gea and give game-time to his other keepers. So that could open the door to Butland appearing at Nottingham Forest and, if it does, you would hope he’d grasp the opportunity with both hands.
DAVID DE GEA
It’s a League Cup semi-final and I think with United being so close now to Wembley and that chance of a first trophy in six years, Ten Hag will give his no.1 the nod in goal. I can see the argument for one of our other stoppers to play: Heaton performed well in the quarter-final victory over Charlton in his first United start, while Butland is due a debut following his loan move from Crystal Palace. Add to that the fact that De Gea has actually only played twice in this competition since our 2017 triumph, with the Reds tending to give our back-up goalies a run-out over the years. But the Spaniard has been in good form this season, pulling off a spectacular save from Palace’s Odsonne Edouard at Selhurst Park last week, and helping the side to 12 clean sheets in 27 games. He’s a man for the big occasion, which is why I reckon he’ll be the one to feature at The City Ground.
De Gea denies Edouard!
David De Gea kept the game goalless in the first half with a wonderful, flying save to thwart Edouard...
I’d be really surprised if De Gea started at The City Ground based on Ten Hag’s consistent approach to the Carabao Cup this season: to me, it appears to be a straight choice between Butland and Heaton. The good news is that both men are quality goalkeepers with England caps on their records, so we are quite literally in safe hands either way. But I suspect the manager will opt for the tried and trusted Tom, who perhaps has the edge when it comes to match sharpness. Jack hasn’t played a competitive game since May, due to an injury sustained against us in pre-season, so I reckon we might see his debut in Saturday’s less-pressurised Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie with Reading.