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The big final

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Amidst the brilliant performances of Arsenal, and the major downfall of Chelsea and Liverpool, the incredible rise of Newcastle United has not warranted the attention it deserves. The charismatic Eddie Howe made immediate improvements to Newcastle United after being appointed in November 2021. However, this season he has taken them to a different level. The Magpies are currently in third with 39 points to their name and are now in the final of the EFL Cup.

Their opponent in the final are Manchester United, a team experiencing a resurgence of their own under new manager Erik Ten Hag. The Red Devils are currently tied on points with Newcastle in the league and along with Everton are the only team in the league to beat league-leaders Arsenal this season. 

And now the two teams will square off to win their first trophy of the season. Their only meeting in the season came back in October, where the two teams shared the points after a goalless draw. However, on February 26, there will be a winner and a loser. 

There has been only one previous instance where the two teams met in the EFL Cup. It was in 2012 when the Red Devils won the match 2-1 with goals from Anderson and Tom Cleverley. 

But what do the stats say about the two sides before the big clash? We explain.

EFL Cup history 

The two teams have contrasting histories when it comes to the EFL Cup. The Red Devils have won the competition five times in 1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2016–17. The last of these came under Jose Mourinho when they completed the treble by also winning the UEFA Europa League and Community Shield.  

Their five titles make them the joint third most successful club in the history of the competition, on level with Aston Villa and Chelsea.

On the other hand, Newcastle have yet to win the competition and have only reached the final on one occasion, 47 years back. 

In the current campaign, Manchester United have been in imperious form. After winning their match 4-2 against Aston Villa, United kept clean sheets in the next four games scoring ten goals in the process. Marcus Rashford, who has been in imperious form this season, is the club’s and the tournament’s top-scorer. Even winter transfer window signing Wout Weghorst has scored a goal in the competition.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have had to face more resistance in their run to the final. After winning their first match 2-1 against Tranmere Rovers, the Magpies needed a penalty shootout to knock out Crystal Palace. They would then defeat Bournemouth, Leicester City, and Southampton to set up a final date with Manchester United.

Except for their victory over Leicester, all matches have been won one either penalty shootouts or one-goal difference. Like Ten Hag’s men, Newcastle have also conceded only two goals, reflecting their imperious defensive strength that has also been on the show in the Premier League. 

Manchester United vs Newcastle United EFL Cup Run

Team  Newcastle United  Manchester United
Second-Round  2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers
Third-Round  0-0 (3-2) win over Crystal Palace 4-2 win over Aston Villa 
Fourth-Round 1-0 win over Bournemouth  2-0 win over Burnley 
Quarter-Finals 2-0 win over Leicester City  2-0 win over Charlton Athletic
Semi-Finals  3-1 win over Southampton in two legs  5-0 win over Nottingham Forest in two legs 

 

Erik Ten Hag vs Eddie Howe Head-to-Head, Stats and Trophies 

Since Erik Ten Hag had coached all his career outside of the Premier League before joining United, and Howe doing his coaching only in it, the only time they faced was the clash back in October which was a goalless affair in which Joelinton hit the post, and Cristiano Ronaldo had two goals disallowed. 

However, with both teams in peak form since the World Cup, it will be an exciting battle between the coaches.

On the trophies front, the Manchester United manager does have the upper hand with three Eredivisie, two KNVB Cup, and one Johan Cruyff Shield during his time at Ajax and one Regionalliga Bayern with Bayern Munich II.

On the other hand, Howe’s only trophy came in the 2014-15 season when he helped Bournemouth win the Football League Championship and earn a promotion to the Premier League.

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Manchester United vs Newcastle United player stats 

In the current season, just like the league, Marcus Rashford has been the top scorer, with five goals getting ample support from Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes who have scored two goals each. Meanwhile, Wout Weghorst, Antony, Christian Eriksen, and Scott McTominay have scored one goal each.

For Newcastle, Joelinton has been the top scorer with two goals, while Dan Burn, Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff, and Chris Wood scored one each. 

Since it is the final, both coaches could start their number one goalkeepers, Nick Pope and David de Gea, who have kept 12 and eight clean sheets in the Premier League.

The EFL Cup final will take place on February 26, 2023, at Wembley Stadium.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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