For all the talk of Jose Mourinho being a fading force, there is no sign of his EFL Cup efficiency eroding...
"Mourinho’s excellent EFL Cup figures do not extend to clean-sheet accumulation, with his Chelsea side being breached in their final six away days under his guidance."
Northampton 14.013/1 v Man United 1.271/4; The Draw 6.611/2
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The Cobblers' return to League One after seven seasons away has been a hit so far, with their first defeat since promotion not arising until last weekend at Chesterfield.
They are also EFL Cup superstars, with their scalp list this decade alone reading Brighton, Reading, Liverpool, Ipswich, Cardiff, Wolves, Blackpool, Barnsley and West Brom, with the latter two added already this term.
Former Liverpool youngster Paul Anderson is cup-tied having played for Bradford in an earlier round before signing, though he wasn't needed in the past two rounds.
Three games on from being back as a title-challenging force after the first four matches of the Jose Mourinho era ended in victory, Man United are now reported to be worse off than at any prior point in their post-Sir Alex Ferguson malaise.
Three successive losses to Man City, Feyenoord and Watford have sparked suggestions that Mourinho is finished as an elite manager, as well as comically rapid attempts to dismiss Paul Pogba, ignoring the fact that they have won five titles from weaker week-five positions than their current one.
Despite all the drama, they are overwhelming favourites to bounce back on their 2016/17 EFL Cup debut at Northampton, even though it is thought that Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial might all sit out the trip to Sixfields Stadium through injury.
Having been the dominant force in the EFL Cup at the end of the last decade, Man United have been put in their place by results like their 4-0 thrashing by League One side MK Dons in 2014/15 or last term's blank and home shootout failure against Middlesbrough.
The combination of that recent history, their poor current form, Northampton's reputation as expert upsetters in this competition and the hosts' record of one reverse in 19 outings in front of their fans since last Christmas hint that all the ingredients for a shock have been gathered.
However, Mourinho has never lost an EFL Cup away encounter, lifting the trophy in three of his five completed campaigns in English football. The former Chelsea boss has won nine and drawn five of his 14 road ventures, beating everyone from Man United and Arsenal to Shrewsbury and Walsall.
Both Teams to Score
Mourinho's excellent figures in this competition do not extend to clean-sheet accumulation, with his Blues being breached in their final six away days under his guidance in it regardless of being undefeated, with Sunderland, Shrewsbury, Derby, Liverpool, Walsall and Stoke capitalising.
Man United's digits are slightly better, with three shutouts in nine on their EFL Cup travels, yet it is undermined by spilling 17 times across the other six contests, and twice more in extra time.
Northampton have fired just two zeros in their 15 competition assignments this decade and have netted twice or more in each of their latest three League One or EFL Cup clashes at Sixfields. Both teams to score is a 2.111/10 shot, while it is 2.915/8 to combine that with a Red Devils triumph.
Back both teams to score @ 2.111/10