BBC Sport pundit predicts Derby County v Man United

Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Man United's trip to Derby County in the FA Cup on Thursday night

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screengrab)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Derby County in the fifth round on Thursday night.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting ready to take his Manchester United team to Pride Park as they prepare to compete for a spot in the last eight of the famous cup competition.

The Red Devils are set to come up against their former striker Wayne Rooney, who has scored four goals and made two assists in 14 games so far this season for Derby.

Manchester United have enjoyed something of an uptick in form in recent weeks following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in the January transfer window.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last four games in the Premier League and sit just three points behind Chelsea FC in the race for a top-four finish.

Former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson is fully expecting to see Manchester United claim their spot in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a comfortable victory on Thursday night.

Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “I wonder who people might be talking about in this tie? A former Manchester United striker, perhaps?

“Derby are not just all about Wayne Rooney, of course, and they are on a good run at Pride Park.

But I cannot look further than a Manchester United win here.

“I was at Goodison Park on Sunday to watch their draw with Everton and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side really impressed me – they look a completely different animal compared to a few weeks ago and they are not far away from where they want to be.

“When you look right through the team they have got a lot of pace now, and they have also got Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay back to give them a strong base.

“Further forward, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood were lively and, overall, the team’s movement was really good.

“Bruno Fernandes is at the heart of it all, though. He is obviously a very talented player and suddenly United’s attackers are making runs because they are thinking ‘he is going to keep playing me in’.

“If United bring Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford back into the side when they are fit, then you are suddenly thinking ‘they have got a bit of a team here’.

“If they were going to Derby without Matic and McTominay then I would not be so sure of the outcome, but those two really do steady the ship.”

Manchester United will then switch their attentions towards their crunch clash against Manchester City in the derby at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

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