Manchester Utd v Crawley Town: Big Match Preview

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Manchester Utd v Crawley Town
FA Cup fifth round

Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Saturday, 19 February Kick-off: 1715 GMT
Coverage: live on ITV1


Man Utd
34 Lindegaard
06 Brown
20 Fabio Da Silva
21 Rafael
22 O'Shea
08 Anderson
16 Carrick
28 Gibson
14 Hernandez
26 Obertan
33 Tiago Bebe

29 Kuszczak, 12 Smalling, 46 Tunnicliffe, 24 Fletcher, 42 Pogba, 10 Rooney, 41 King

Crawley Town

01 Kuipers
22 Mills
23 Howell
27 McFadzean
04 Hunt
07 Smith
08 Torres
15 Bulman
17 Gibson
09 Tubbs
14 McAllister

30 Shearer, 03 Rents, 16 Wilson, 02 Rusk, 21 Napper, 18 Cook, 29 Brodie

Sir Alex Ferguson does not see how the FA Cup could be dying as long as it throws up ties like Saturday's fifth-round clash between Manchester United and Crawley.

Nine thousand supporters will accompany the ambitious non-leaguers on their long trip north to Old Trafford, hoping to become the first side from outside the Football League to reach the quarter-finals.

"They talk about the FA Cup dying, but it won't die as long as you've got giant-killing acts that Crawley have already produced," said Ferguson.

"And every manager will tell you, you don't want to be a casualty.

"We lost to Leeds last season and it wasn't easy to take. They were up for it and made it a cup tie. We will see the same tomorrow. Crawley will get stuck into us, there's no other way for them. That is the way they are."


Facing such opposition is nothing new to United. In 2005 they were paired with Exeter. The following season they drew Burton at the third-round stage. The Red Devils ended up requiring replays to get past both sides after disappointing goalless draws.

Comparisons continue given Exeter and Burton are now Football League clubs. And Ferguson expects Crawley to follow suit given the investment they are benefiting from.

"We respect the fact that Crawley are the best non-league side for quite a while," said Ferguson.

"They seem to have a lot of money invested in their players and are near the top of the league, so their games in hand will probably see them promoted to the league proper.

"There is always room for ambition and they could do well when they get into the Football League given the kind of money they have behind them and the ambition they have got."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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