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Manchester United's XI vs Northampton in 2004 - Where are they now?

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The EFL Cup often throws up fixtures that would look slightly bizarre outside of the competition.

That's the case once again this evening as Manchester United travel to play Northampton Town of League One.

The last time the two sides met was in 2004 when, under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, United ran out 3-0 winners in the F.A. Cup.

But what did that United line-up look like? And how did the careers of those players selected pan out? GiveMeSport has been doing some investigating...

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GK | Roy Carroll

Carroll's United career was largely spent as understudy to, first, Fabien Barthez and then Tim Howard, and his start in this game was one of only 12 appearances that season.

A year after keeping a clean sheet against Northampton, Carroll - then the Red Devils' number one - was involved in Pedro Mendes' "goal that never was" against Spurs and left in the summer of '05.

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Now 38, he's still playing with Linfield in his native Northern Ireland having spent time with no less than seven other clubs in between - including spells in Denmark, Scotland and Greece.

LB | Quinton Fortune

The definition of a utility player, Fortune never played enough Premier League games in a season to earn a winner's medal despite being part of three United squads that won the title.

Released in 2006, the South African went on to play for Bolton Wanderers, Brescia, Tubize and Doncaster Rovers between 2006 and 2010 - although he accumulated only 22 appearances in that time.

He came back to United to pass his coaching badges in 2012 and worked as assistant manager of Cardiff City's Under-21 side in 2014.

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RB | John O'Shea

A loyal servant to Manchester United, O'Shea was in the midst of his second full season in the Old Trafford first team in 2004.

Often used as the scapegoat when things weren't going well, the versatile defender still made a further 300 appearances for United before leaving in 2011 for Sunderland.

He is still lining up for the Black Cats today and also played a key role for the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2016.

CB | Wes Brown

Another long-serving defender, Brown also left United in 2011 for Sunderland after accruing 362 total appearances for the club.

Predominantly a back-up centre-back as injuries harmed his career, he famously set up Cristiano Ronaldo's winning goal in the 2008 Champions League final to cap an impressive run in the team at right-back.

Now 36, the man capped 23 times by England most recently earned a contract with Blackburn after turning out for their under-23's.

Manchester United v Sunderland - Premier League

CB | Mikaël Silvestre

The Frenchman scored the team's first goal against Northampton and played four more years at United before joining their rivals Arsenal in 2008 - the first to make the switch directly since Brian Kidd in 1974.

He scored an own goal on his Gunners debut and played for two years under Arsene Wenger before spells with Werder Bremen and MLS' Portland Timbers.

Silvestre last played in the Indian Super League for Chennaiyin in 2014 - earning $500,000 for four months work in the process.

CM | Darren Fletcher

After breaking into the first team in 2003-04, Fletcher became the go-to guy for Alex Ferguson when it came to high-pressure games over his 12-year career at United.

He played very little football between 2011-13 due to contracting ulcerative colitis and his career looked in serious doubt.

However, the 70-cap Scotland international returned and is now plying his trade for West Bromwich Albion, whom he joined in 2014.

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

CM | Nicky Butt

One of the true United legends in their line-up versus Northampton, this was actually Butt's final season at United.

He went on to play five years at Newcastle United and one season with Birmingham City before, somewhat surprisingly for a six-time Premier League winner and one-time Champions League winner, he ended his playing days with South China.

The Class of '92 member has also fulfilled numerous roles on the United staff and is currently the head of youth academy. He is also part owner of Salford FC alongside Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville.

CM | Paul Scholes

Already a United icon in 2004, Scholes was only half way through his one-club career at Old Trafford.

He went on to help the Red Devils to five more league titles, two League Cups and a Champions League. Sadly for England fans, however, he called time on his international career just a few months after the Northampton fixture, in August '04.

He now makes headlines with his frank assessment of the modern game as a pundit for BT Sport.

Manchester United v West Ham United - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round

LF | Cristiano Ronaldo

2004 was Ronaldo's first year at United and even his biggest fans couldn't have predicted what would happen since then.

He racked up 118 goals for the Red Devils en route to becoming one of the biggest names in the game and, ultimately, moved to Real Madrid in 2009 for a then world record £80 million fee.

The rest, as they say, is history with CR7 earning far too many personal and team honours in the years since. When a man has his own museum, you know things went pretty well.

RF | David Bellion

From the sublime to the ridiculous, Bellion was touted as the next big thing when he joined from Sunderland in 2003. However, his debut campaign saw him net just twice and that was about as good as it got at Old Trafford.

Loan spells at West Ham and Nice followed before the Frenchman finally found regular football at Bordeaux in 2007, whom he scored 20 goals for before leaving in 2014 after a failed trial with New York Cosmos the year before.

Now 33-years-old, the 'pacey' striker can be seen turning out for Red Star F.C. of the French third division.

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CF | Diego Forlan

The Uruguayan's United career never quite hit the heights expected and he is one of few players who can genuinely say his career got better after leaving Old Trafford.

Prolific spells with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid followed and he was the 2010 World Cup top goalscorer as Uruguay made it to the semi-finals.

The last few years have been spent in Brazil, Japan and boyhood club Peñarol, although he left them in June 2016.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Football
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
David Beckham
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League

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