FA Cup preview: Can Preston North End upset Manchester United?

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  • This is the first meeting since 1972, when United won 2-0
  • United have not won the FA Cup since 2004
  • Preston have reached the final seven times, winning in 1889 and 1938

Third-tier Preston North End welcome Premier League giants Manchester United to Deepdale on Monday as the League One outfit look to create one of the biggest upsets in recent FA Cup history with a place in the quarterfinals on the line.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Preston vs. Man United ]

United labored past fourth-tier Cambridge United in the fourth round, as they needed a replay to put the League Two outfit away after a shock 0-0 draw away from home in the first match. Can Preston take inspiration from that result, and United’s relatively lackluster performances of late, to create a similar moment of ‘cup magic’ on Monday? Despite all of that, along with Liverpool and Arsenal, United are the favorites to lift the FA Cup in Louis van Gaal’s first season in charge at Old Trafford.

In teams news Manchester United are without Michael Carrick, while Phil Jones and Daley Blind both remain doubtful. Preston will be without striker Jermaine Beckford, while Sam Johnstone and Daniel Johnson are cup-tied.

What they’re saying

Louis van Gaal on Preston being the underdog: “I have already described that we have to play for the third time a lower team, and you know the world is against you, the environment is against you because everyone is with the underdog. It is more difficult to accept but it’s like that. However, the chance that you can survive is higher because you are playing against lower qualities.”

Preston boss Simon Grayson on the mindset of his side: “You’ve got to go into a game like this and enjoy it. Our players may never get the chance to play against the likes of Radamel Falcao, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie again. The one thing you have to say to them before they go out is have no regrets.”

Prediction

This will be tight and tense but you’d expect United’s players to have learnt from their experience away at Cambridge in the last round. Preston will come flying out of the traps, but expect United to weather the early storm and cruise to a 3-1 win.