Manchester United take on Newcastle in League Cup final – news of soccer

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Man Utd aim to end their six-year trophy drought while Newcastle look for first major trophy since 1969.

Who: Manchester United v Newcastle United
When: Sunday, February 26 – 13:00GMT
Where: Wembley Stadium, London

Manchester United will aim to end their six-year trophy drought when Erik ten Hag’s resurgent side face Newcastle in the League Cup final, while the Magpies’ Saudi-funded revolution could produce the club’s first major prize since 1969.

As underachieving members of English football’s aristocracy in recent years, Man Utd hope the showpiece at Wembley on Sunday can serve as a long-awaited rebirth.

However, revelling in their role as nouveau riche irritants to the Premier League’s established powers, Newcastle believe the final can serve as concrete proof they are now a force to be reckoned with.

Man Utd’s trophy drought

Manchester United have not won a major trophy since the 2017 Europa League, a prize they claimed just weeks after beating Southampton in their most recent League Cup final appearance.

As if their longest trophy drought for 40 years was not bad enough, United also suffered the indignity of watching bitter rivals Manchester City surpass them as England’s pre-eminent football force.

United, who last won the title in 2013, finished a dismal sixth in the Premier League last term.

But after a decade in the wilderness, they have been revived by ten Hag since his arrival from Ajax last year.

Ten Hag has tried to temper expectations in his first season but he knows victory this weekend would be a meaningful moment for a club climbing out of the doldrums.

“It’s a great opportunity to get the silverware. The fans are really waiting for it and so we do everything we can to give them their honour,” ten Hag said.

Newcastle will not be pushovers

Fuelled by the astute management of Eddie Howe and the financial muscle of their Saudi-backed owners, Newcastle are unlikely to be pushovers.

Once regarded as the laughing stock of the Premier League, Newcastle are emerging as a genuine force for the first time since Kevin Keegan’s ‘entertainers’ came close to winning the title in the 1990s.

It is an astonishingly rapid rise for a team mired in the relegation zone when Howe was hired soon after the $376m takeover from unpopular former owner Mike Ashley in late 2021.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund holds an 80 percent stake in the club, but Howe is the public face of Newcastle’s renaissance.

Despite a recent dip in form, Newcastle are fifth in the Premier League, just two places behind Man United. For this weekend, they are focused on winning the club’s first major trophy since the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Newcastle’s last major domestic prize came in 1955 when they lifted the FA Cup.

For such a football-obsessed city to go decades without a trophy has been cruel punishment for the long-suffering ‘Toon Army’, who will be watching Newcastle’s first domestic final appearance since losing to United in the 1999 FA Cup.

Stats pack
2 – Manchester United have beaten Newcastle on two out of three occasions in the League Cup.

1 – Newcastle will be making their first appearance in the League Cup final since 1976, with their gap of 47 years the longest between finals in League Cup history.

0 – The Magpies have lost their last four major finals (1974, 1998 and 1999 FA Cup finals, 1976 League Cup final) since winning the 1969 Fairs Cup final.

10 – Manchester United are competing in their 10th League Cup final, with only Liverpool (13) ever playing in more.

5 – Manchester United have won the League Cup five times.

8 – Newcastle have lost their last eight matches at Wembley.

What the managers are saying
Ten Hag: “[When] you’re playing for Manchester United and you have to create your own legacy, therefore you have to win trophies. We are in good direction and Sunday we have the opportunity to win a trophy.”

Howe: “We’ve beaten some really good teams and been very consistent with our form. We believe the power is in our hands and it’s up to us to perform at those best levels. We’re determined to try and do that and create some great memories for our amazing supporters.”

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