Manchester United travel to League One Preston for tricky FA Cup fifth-round clash
Last Updated: 17/02/15 8:21am
Preston boss Simon Grayson will be looking to upset the odds against Manchester United once again in their FA Cup fifth-round clash tonight.
Grayson led Leeds United to a stunning 1-0 victory at Old Trafford five years ago, becoming the first lower-league opposition to beat Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the third round.
Louis van Gaal's United have already beating League One opposition in Yeovil in this year's competition, but they struggled their way past League Two Cambridge after needing a replay to secure their place in the last 16.
Preston are right in the promotion mix, lying fourth in League One, and forward Paul Gallagher is the FA Cup's current top scorer with five goals. They have already dumped out Championship Norwich and cup specialists Sheffield United, and Grayson's men go into Monday night's game full of confidence.
Jermaine Beckford, who scored the winner in Leeds' third-round victory at Old Trafford five years ago, will not have the chance to repeat his FA Cup heroics after being sidelined by an ear infection.
Top scorer Joe Garner will fancy his chances of stealing the limelight this time round after scoring two goals against Chesterfield in midweek on his first start since picking up a knee injury in November.
Striker Robin van Persie is a doubt for the visitors due to an unspecified injury. Left-back Luke Shaw returns from suspension, but centre-half Phil Jones is unlikely to play because of a knee injury he suffered against Burnley in midweek.
Daley Blind went off in the win over the Clarets with a head injury but he should be fit for the game at Deepdale. Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick is out with a calf injury, though.
Manchester United are the overwhelming favourites to get the job done within 90 minutes, with Sky Bet going 2/5 on the visitors winning on the night. That makes Preston 7/1 underdogs on their own turf, while they’re 7/2 to earn a draw and 4/1 to get through to the next round by any means.
To put things into perspective, United are 11/4 second-favourites to lift the FA Cup, while Preston are the joint-longest price of the remaining teams, with both them and Bradford labelled 150/1 outsiders. Joe Garner is given the hosts’ best chance of scoring at 11/4, with Robin van Persie heading the first goal market at 100/30.