Third time lucky? Last season's seventh place finish condemns Manchester United to enter the League Cup -- sorry, the Capital One Cup -- in the second round, and that indignity means a trip to Milton Keynes, home of the concrete cows, the town with the most roundabouts in Britain, and just one of the former dwelling places of this particular third of tBB.
It's also home to the MK Dons, a hideous carbuncle on the face of English football that we won't dignify with any further attention. Instead, to United. It hasn't taken Van Gaal long to get the hang of English football's traditions, and tonight's team is the customary confection of outcasts, children and sundry others. Jonny Evans makes his return from injury at the back, Nick Powell plays his first game since returning from loan at Wigan, and Saidy Janko and Reece James make their competitive debuts.
Oh, and if you'd somehow managed to miss the news, Angel di Maria's signed. He's not playing though. Can't believe he's been dropped already. VAN GAAL OUT.
Manchester United: David de Gea; Michael Keane, Jonny Evans, Marnick Vermijl; Reece James, Nick Powell, Shinji Kagawa, Anderson, Saidy Janko; Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck
Subs: Amos, McNair, Thorpe, A Pereira, Januzaj, Zaha, Wilson
MK Dons: Martin; Baldock, Lewington (c), Kay, McFadzean; Alli, Potter; Bowditch, Reeves, Carruthers; Grigg
Subs: McLoughlin, Spence, Green, Randall, Powell, Hitchcock, Afobe