Gary Neville names Man Utd’s ‘surprise package’ for Newcastle final

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Gary Neville believes Luke Shaw can be Manchester United’s ‘surprise package’ for Sunday’s crunch Carabao Cup final clash with Newcastle. The Red Devils go into the game in resurgent form, having beaten Barcelona in the Europa League earlier in the week. And whether Erik ten Hag can steer the club to a first trophy since 2017 remains to be seen.

In an interview for the Carabao Cup final match-day programme, Neville was asked who could be his old side’s ‘surprise package’ as they look to put Newcastle to the sword and achieve glory at Wembley.

And he then replied by saying: “Luke Shaw.

“I really see him being an extra threat for United down the left as an attacking force when all other avenues are blocked, which could easily happen.

“Newcastle’s defence has been the best in the country this season, so he could really pose a threat.”

Neville does, however, think Casemiro will end up being the player of the match due to his experience of playing in big games.

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“Casemiro,” he said. “The midfielder exudes class and he is the man for the big occasion, with five Champions League titles to his name.”

Neville then proceeded to name Bruno Fernandes as his pick for the first goalscorer.

And the United legend believes his old team will win 2-1 and take the trophy home, despite the difficulties they face at Wembley.

The Red Devils have gone six years without silverware, with Manchester City and Liverpool often dominating in recent seasons.

Yet, according to Neville, one trophy may see many more follow.

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“It might just be the start of something very special,” continued the Sky Sports pundit.

“We’ve seen this competition be a springboard for success in the past with other clubs.

“It would be the perfect start to life under Erik ten Hag…the start of a new dynasty (that should wind a few up.”

He added: “The manager has made some big calls in a relatively short space of time.

“But the changes and the new players coming in have created a great team spirit.

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“It’s impressive. There looks to be some real winners in there now and they don’t know when they are beaten.”

Meanwhile, speaking ahead of the game, Ten Hag admitted he found Newcastle an annoying team to play against.

“I think it’s a great team with a clear philosophy about how they [Newcastle] want to play the game,” Ten Hag said. “The key word is intensity.

“They do really well. They’re an annoying team to play against, so we have to find a way to win.

“They try to annoy you. We have to make sure that we play our game and we focus on our game.”

Asked to clarify his comments, the Dutchman added: “For instance, referees want to play effective time. They have the lowest in the league and they are quite successful with it.

“So it’s up to us that we get speed in the game, but also we are then dependent on the refereeing as well.”

He added: “We have to make it our game, so focus on the job we have to do, focus on playing football when the ball is in the game.

“Don’t get distracted from what can be, whatever is on the pitch. We have to focus on the job and find our way and find the moments where we can strike.”

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