Football: Charlton fancy their chances of upsetting United in League Cup

Charlton have form for knocking out higher-ranked opposition via spot-kicks. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON – Charlton Athletic captain George Dobson believes the Addicks can upset Manchester United in their League Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday, particularly if the third-tier club can take the tie to penalties.

Charlton have form for knocking out higher-ranked opposition via spot-kicks, having seen off English Premier League high-fliers Brighton & Hove Albion in the previous round. Dean Holden’s side won the shoot-out 4-3 after the fourth-round match on Dec 21 ended scoreless.

Midfielder Dobson told PA Sport: “It was a brilliant evening against Brighton and then to get the draw we did was obviously unbelievable.

“We could win in normal time but if we have to settle for pens, I fancy us. Obviously going to Old Trafford, we take belief that we have beaten Brighton and you have got to dream in football because you never know what can happen...

He added: “It’s not going to be easy, but if you can’t dream or believe, there is no point going... We’re going to be going out there thinking: ‘This is our chance to cause that major upset’.”

The Arsenal youth product singled out in-form forward Marcus Rashford as the “huge threat” to his team, who sit 12th in the 24-team League One. Bruno Fernandes will likely be rested while Jadon Sancho is unlikely to be ready to return.

Dobson noted: “I played against Rashford in the youth teams. I just remember him being so sharp. He wasn’t the tallest but I remember him being so sharp...

“If he plays, it will be a big test for us but one we are really looking forward to... He obviously had a dip in form for a period of time but he is an unbelievable footballer.

“With his pace, quality on the ball and finishing, he has a bit of everything. It has come back together again this season under (Erik) ten Hag, so he will be a huge threat.”

Winger Corey Blackett-Taylor agreed, telling The Sun: “The game at Old Trafford is definitely winnable. I’ve never played there before and we’re going to enjoy it and express ourselves.”

It is a mantra to which their manager and United fan Holden also subscribes. He said: “I’ve told my players, ‘if you don’t believe it can happen, it won’t happen’. I’m not just talking about beating Man United, either. It applies to everything.”

If Charlton need proof, they can turn to last weekend’s FA Cup, where top-tier sides Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Aston Villa were humiliated by lower-league opposition.

Newcastle have a chance to redeem themselves when they play Leicester City in another League Cup quarter-final on Tuesday.

Said Magpies boss Eddie Howe: “We need to get (the FA Cup defeat by Sheffield Wednesday on) Saturday out of our system very quickly.

“Psychologically, it would be a great thing for us to get through to a two-legged semi-final. We want to experience that, but we have a very different, tough opponent in our way.

“We have to be more clinical. If we look back at the Leeds game and Saturday, there were too many chances not taken.”

He added that record signing Alexander Isak “will be involved” after playing 45 minutes against Wednesday as he makes his return from a hamstring injury.

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