|Source: The Mirror|
On Tuesday 7th January Manchester United face City rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford in the second Manchester derby of the season. The game has even more significance for both teams as not only is it a local derby but it is a Carabao Cup semi-final game, in which both teams would like to progress to the final where they could face either Leicester City or Aston Villa.
Form goes out the window in derbies and cup matches like these, as anyone can win in a match, anyone can win a 2 legged tie and anyone can progress through to the final. However, saying this, Manchester City are huge favourites going into the tie. Manchester United have won just 2 of their last 5 games in all competitions while opponents Manchester City have won 4 out of the last 5 games. And it’s not only recent form that favours Man City as in the Premier League this season, they have won 6 games more than United and have 13 points more than them in the table. Saying all this, you can’t completely rule out Manchester United as anything can happen in football such as when Manchester United beat Man City earlier on this season. So there is still hope for fans that an upset is on the cards and that United can progress to the next round.
Unexpectedly the Manchester derby has been a relatively even tie in recent years though both teams fortunes have differed in terms of success and silverware, both teams have five wins apiece from the last 12 meetings. However, Manchester United have not won back-to-back derby games since 2010, so they would have to overcome that if they were to get anything from this game. In total, there have been seven League Cup meetings between these two sides before, and the honours are evenly matched at three wins apiece with one draw.
Combined team XI (With only players who are likely to feature): Romero; Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Fernandinho, Mendy; Rodri, De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva, Rashford, Jesus, Sterling
In terms of team news, Manchester United still have a long injury list with players such as Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo, Harry Maguire and Timothy Fosu-Mensah all out. And options could be further limited with illness having swept through the squad, with Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw all doubtful. This news means that Solskjaer will be forced to use a mix of fringe players, first team players and youth academy players.
Predicted XI: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Fred, Matic; James, Pereira, Rashford; Greenwood
Predicted Result: Manchester United 1-1 Manchester City