Local rivals Manchester City and Manchester United come together once again at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening as they both attempt to reach the Carabao Cup final.
Heading into the clash, the fourth between the two sides this season alone, Pep Guardiola’s men hold a 3-1 aggregate advantage having racked up a comprehensive victory at Old Trafford just three weeks ago. Understandably, it is the back-to-back winners that are overwhelmingly fancied to reach their third consecutive final at a price of 1/200 with William Hill. Elsewhere, odds of 20/1 accurately reflect the difficulty that Manchester United have of reaching their second League Cup final in the last four seasons and their ninth overall.
Despite the odds being stacked highly in Manchester City’s favour, the Red Devils have managed to shock their illustrious hosts already this season. The last clash at the Etihad ended in favour of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men thanks to first-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. The Red Devils sit at 17/2 with Paddy Power to earn back-to-back wins at the ground of their rivals for the first time in over 20 years. The Sky Blues meanwhile are at 1/4 to win, whilst a draw sits at 9/2.
There are a few particular problems facing United should they hope to earn a win and progress to the final and that is their extensive injury list. Marcus Rashford, who has already scored four goals against City throughout his career, is set to be out for an extended period. He joins midfielders Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo and Timothy Fosu-Mensah on the sidelines. In the English forward’s absence, Martial is apparently the most likely Manchester United man to open the scoring and can be backed at a price of 7/1 with Betfred.
Elsewhere, Guardiola also has his own injury problems to contend with. Leroy Sane still remains restricted to the sidelines. Aymeric Laporte has recovered from his long-term knock but missed the weekend’s FA Cup win against Fulham so is a doubt. Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo are also both slight doubts and will be monitored ahead of the game.
A positive that the current cup holders have though is one of the top scorers in the competition. Raheem Sterling has already scored three goals in the Carabao Cup so far this season and is at a price of 7/2 to add to his tally with the opening goal of the game against Manchester United.