Yeovil Town are back in action this coming Sunday afternoon in the FA Cup Third Round.
The Glovers have been drawn at home to one of the world’s biggest and most formidable football clubs, Manchester United and will go toe to toe with the Premier League giants on Sunday at 3:30pm at Huish Park.
Gary Johnson’s men have earned this plum tie after a second round victory over Accrington Stanley, a win that needed a replay at Huish Park.
A 1-1 draw at Stanley’s Crown Ground was followed up with a 2-0 win at Huish Park.
Jordan Clarke netted the Yeovil goal in Lancashire before Simon Gillett and substitute Kieffer Moore put the tie to bed on a nervy Tuesday night ten days later.
Since the second round, things haven’t all gone Yeovil’s way in the League, with three defeats in a row condemning the Glovers to 24th place in the division, now 5 points from safety.
The losses to Colchester (1-0), Bristol City (2-1) and Leyton Orient (3-0) are hardly the best preparation for the FA Cup tie, but without the pressure of league points at stake, Yeovil will hope their players can relax and play the type of football that has earned them impressive results at Oldham and Notts County recently.
This is Manchester United’s debut in the 2014/15 FA Cup as all Championship and Premier League clubs are given byes until the third round.
Their preparation hasn’t exactly been ideal either. The hectic fixture schedule has prompted calls from players and management for a change in the way the matches are played out over the festive period.
Two draws against Tottenham and Stoke mean United lie in third place in the Premier League table, nine points off the top.
However, Louis Van Gaal’s side are undefeated in the league since they succumbed to their noisy neighbours, Man City at the start of November.
But, they haven’t had everything their own way in the cups. They of course missed out on any form of European Competition last year so would have been hoping for success in a domestic chase for silverware.
The Captial One Cup pitted Van Gaal’s new look side up against League One MK Dons and a large number of changes worked against the Dutchman as Karl Robinson’s side ran riot winning 4-0 in the second round tie.
Van Gaal will have a headache on whether or not to make changes again with player’s fitness weighing up against a desire to progress in the cup.
The Old Trafford team news is that Ashley Young will definitely miss out, he pulled up with a hamstring problem on New Year’s Day.
Elsewhere, Jonny Evans made his comeback from injury in that fixture and Angel Di Maria could be back in training before the trip to Somerset.
Summer signing Daley Blind should be available again, but injuries to Marouane Fellani and Marcos Rojo could mean Sunday’s fixture comes around too quickly.
For Yeovil, the fitness of second-round hero Kieffer Moore is proving the main concern, he hasn’t played since the Accrington Replay and could be aiming to return just in time.
Elsewhere, Jordan Clarke remains out injured and Sam Hoskins will miss out on playing due to being cup tied.
Those with knocks and niggles will be tested right up until the last moment, but with significantly more time off since their last game than their opponents, Gary Johnson will hope the extra recuperation time will see those players available for selection.
These two sides may well be at the polar opposites of the football scale, but the sides have crossed paths once or twice.
Back in 1949, the reward for arguably one of Yeovil’s greatest FA Cup giant killings, a win over the “bank of England” Sunderland side was a tie against Manchester United.
The game, played at Maine Road due to war damage at United’s ground, saw the Red Devils run riot winning 8-0. Jack Rowley scored 5 that day and Ronnie Burke helped himself to a brace.
The sides also met a few years before, in January 1938, Man United won 3-0 against Yeovil and Petters United.
More recently, in the summer of 1999, a Man United under 19’s side came to Huish Park for a pre-season friendly.
Warren Patmore scored twice and Adrian Foster also netted in a 5-3 Glovers win.
In the Red Devils side that day were Michael Rose and Mark Lynch, the full backs would go on to play for the Glovers a few years after being released by Manchester United.
As part of the pre-season preparations for the 2010/11 season a Manchester United XI led by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came to Huish Park for Darren Way’s benefit match.
A packed out Huish Park saw the Glovers triumph 3-2 with goals from JP Kalala, Sam Williams and Adam Virgo.
United replied through Matt Possebon and Robbie Brady but it wasn’t to be for Solskjaer’s men.
A result like either of those previous two are more than adequate for Gary Johnson’s men this Sunday but we are expecting a much more challenging set of players in the away dressing room.
Whichever side Louis Van Gaal sends to Huish Park it will contain potentially hundreds of international caps and medals among the squad and will present Yeovil with the toughest opponent in recent years.
The match is, as expected a sell out with all four sides packed to the rafters. If you aren’t coming to Huish Park never fear, the game is available on BBC Somerset, Glovers Player and live on BT Sport.
Keep an eye on YTFC.net for articles on the build up to the game, with the club’s YouTube channel showing all the post-match reaction from both camps.
Due to the FA Cup licencing, highlights will be available on the BBC’s website only.
It’s David v Goliath on Sunday at Huish Park. A positive result for Yeovil will probably be one of the greatest in the club’s history.
Famous Fans: Floyd Mayweather, Usain Bolt, Tom Cruise, Rory McIlroy and urm… Eamon Holmes.
A Foot in both camps: Mark Lynch, Michael Rose, Cameron Stewart, Sam Johnstone, Neil Mustoe, David Poole, Alan Tate, and Ritchie Jones.
Did you know? Former United ‘keeper Gary Bailey once saved three penalties in the same game for United against Ipswich in 1980. Ipswich still won 6-0.