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English Premiership

United relishing league cup glory

MANCHESTER, November 30- Sir Alex Ferguson is set to give forgive his young players for their Champions League blip and give them another chance to impress in the League Cup.
FERGUSON_United entertain Tottenham in Tuesday’s quarter-final, a re-run of last season’s final which Ferguson’s side won after a dramatic penalty shootout at Wembley.

The United manager has used the League Cup to blood the younger members of his squad but after last Wednesday’s surprise home defeat to Besiktas in the Champions League, there has been speculation whether he will throw them back into the spotlight so quickly.

Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda and Darron Gibson all started as United surrendered their 23-match unbeaten home run in Europe following Besiktas’s 1-0 triumph.

Yet all three are expected to feature against Tottenham along with Gabriel Obertan, the French winger who provided Ferguson with a rare positive against the Turks.

Despite impressing against Besiktas, Obertan, a three million euro signing from Bordeaux in the summer, did not even make the bench for Saturday’s 4-1 win at Portsmouth and will be itching to impress again as he looks to establish himself at Old Trafford.

Ben Foster, the hero of the shootout victory at Wembley last March, will also be keen to feature after a season in which the England keeper has found himself criticised for some high-profile mistakes.

Nani also played in the final but his United career appears to have stalled and the Portuguese winger has admitted his frustration at being unable to hold down a regular first-team spot this term.

Following the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, Nani was seen as the heir apparent but that has not transpired.

The likes of AC Milan and Benfica are both said to be keen on the 23-year-old but Ferguson is adamant he will not be selling.

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"Some big clubs have been mentioned for Nani, like Milan and Benfica, but there has been no contact made with us – and we wouldn’t entertain selling him anyway," said Ferguson.

"He is only 23. If someone came in for Nani in January we would tell him that he is going absolutely nowhere.

"He’s a young boy and he wants to play – and he might get a chance against Spurs in the Carling Cup this week.

"He has suffered because Valencia’s form has been excellent and because Obertan has emerged as an interesting player.

"It is no criticism of Nani, but the way things have developed in the last few weeks have gone against him.

"I have spoken to him and told him that he must take his chance when it comes along."

Despite storming into a 2-0 lead on their last visit to Old Trafford, Tottenham have not won at the venue for 20 years.

Goals by Darren Bent, now at Sunderland, and Luka Modric gave Harry Redknapp’s side a commanding lead at United in April before the hosts stormed back to score five times in 22 second half minutes on their way to securing the title.

Yet Tottenham are a tougher unit to crack this season and arrive at United in the top three having lost just four times.

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Redknapp is desperate to get Tottenham to the final for a third successive season, but insists securing a top four Premier League finish is a priority.

"It will be hard but we have got some very good players at this club," said Redknapp.

"Who knows what is going to happen with regards to the top four. The top two will probably be Chelsea and Manchester United, then will come Arsenal and Liverpool and then Manchester City, Aston Villa and ourselves.

"One of us might break into the top four and it is not impossible for us to do it."

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