Seven-time League Cup winners Manchester City will again be attempting to defend their crown as they face local rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals of the competition at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
Pep Guardiola’s men have won five out of the last seven Carabao Cups, including the last three, and could become only the second side in the competition’s history to claim four consecutive titles. Meanwhile, the Red Devils come into the game having most recently lifted the League Cup during the 2016/17 season under Jose Mourinho but could become the outright third most successful side in the competition should they succeed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. United currently sit at a price of 10/3 with William Hill to taste glory this season, whilst City can be backed at 6/5 to add to their impressive trophy haul at Wembley in April.
Considering the recent meetings between the two sides, it might well be tough for Guardiola to take his side to the final itself. Of their last five matches against Manchester United in all competitions, City have only managed to win one of them. However, that did come at this stage of the Carabao Cup last season, with the Citizens running out 3-1 winners at Old Trafford thanks to goals from Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez, with an own goal from Andreas Pereira. City are available at a price of 19/20 with Betfair to again earn victory at Old Trafford, whilst the hosts lag behind at 13/5. A draw after 90 minutes is the less fancied option at odds of 14/5.
Regarding the opening goalscorer of the match, City are the favourites once again. Having endured injury problems throughout large swaths of the 2020/21 season, Sergio Aguero could boost his fitness with a start and is at 7/2 with Paddy Power to net the opening goal of the match. Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes is of course the favourite from the hosts perspective having hit 15 goals this season already. The Portuguese sits at odds of 11/2 to score first.
Despite having Aguero back, Guardiola has considerable problems in getting a team together due to an outbreak of coronavirus at the Etihad Stadium. Ederson, Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus, Eric Garcia, Ferran Torres and Tommy Doyle are all observing periods of self-isolation, whilst centre-backs Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte are both doubtful due to muscular injuries.
Solskjaer also has his own troubles in defence with the likes of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelof all restricted to the sidelines. In other news, Edinson Cavani will play no part as he serves the first match of his FA suspension.