The week ahead: United up for the cups
Life at Manchester United remains fast paced, so our weekly guide's here to bring you up to speed with what's coming up at the club...
Our Under-18s are in action this evening in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, against Brighton & Hove Albion at Leigh Sports Village. The game kicks off at 19:00 GMT and you can watch it live on MUTV, with coverage starting at 18:30 GMT. Elsewhere, it’s two years to the day since Wayne Rooney eclipsed Sir Bobby Charlton’s record to become the club’s all-time leading scorer, when netting his 250th goal for United with a sublime free-kick in a 1-1 draw at Stoke. Meanwhile, Nicky Butt, our Head of Academy, and his former team-mate Phil Neville both celebrate their birthday - the pair were born exactly two years apart in 1975 and 1977 respectively.
It’s the first anniversary of Alexis Sanchez’s arrival from Arsenal, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction. Andy Cole made his Reds debut on this day in 1995 in a 1-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers – the club he would later move to in 2001 after netting 121 goals in 275 games for us.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team will step up preparations for Friday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Arsenal. Elsewhere, United’s former Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis will celebrate a landmark birthday as he turns 50.
Solskjaer is expected to hold his press conference, at a time to be confirmed, at the Aon Training Complex ahead of our FA Cup tie against the Gunners. Appropriately, it's the 20th anniversary of another significant FA Cup tie in which Ole scored a trademark late winner - United beating Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford in the Treble-winning season. Meanwhile, it’s exactly a decade since Fabio da Silva made his Reds debut, in a 2-1 FA Cup victory over Tottenham.
There will be a busy evening of football for United with the first team and Under-23s both in action. Solskjaer’s side travel to North London to take on Unai Emery’s Arsenal in arguably the tie of the round in the FA Cup, with the two most successful teams in the competition's history going head to head (kick-off 19:55 GMT). Meanwhile, Ricky Sbragia’s youngsters welcome Paris Saint Germain to Leigh Sports Village in the third and final Premier League International Cup group match (kick-off 19:00 GMT). There are two notable anniversaries - the fifth of Juan Mata’s arrival from Chelsea and it's 13 years since Nemanja Vidic made his Reds debut in a 2-1 win over Blackburn in the League Cup semi-finals.
Neil Ryan’s Under-18s return to the pitch for an eagerly awaited Premier League Cup quarter-final tie away at rivals Liverpool. The match at Liverpool Academy will kick off at 11:00 GMT. Elsewhere, Alexis made his United debut in a 4-0 win over Yeovil Town at Huish Park in the FA Cup on this day 12 months ago.
Ebony Salmon, our women's team striker who is currently on loan at Sheffield United, and Reds goalkeeper Lee Grant will both celebrate birthdays. The funeral of Sir Matt Busby was held on this day 25 years ago.
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