Manchester City entertain rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.
Pep Guardiola’s side put one foot in the final after easing to a 3-1 win in the first leg at Old Trafford earlier this month so the current holders are well on course to defending the trophy for a second consecutive season.
City can focus on the cup competitions during the second half of the campaign as a Premier League title defence is beyond them with Liverpool aiming to move a whopping 19 points clear with a win over West Ham on Wednesday evening.
The Citizens breezed into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 win over Fulham at the weekend so they’ll be looking to go one-step closer to a domestic cup double by finishing the job against Man Utd.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eased the pressure on his shoulders with an impressive 6-0 win at Tranmere on Sunday afternoon but all eyes will be on the Norwegian coach to see how he attempts to overhaul a 3-1 deficit against City.
United have been hugely inconsistent this season and while they usually save their best performances for games against the big-boys, the performance in the first leg wasn’t good enough so Solskjaer will be demanding better tomorrow.
Manchester City will hand a late fitness test to Riyad Mahrez after the attacker picked up a knock against Fulham at the weekend while Joao Cancelo is also a doubt with an ankle problem.
Aymeric Laporte made a successful return to action last week after recovering from a serious knee injury but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be risked against United. Leroy Sane remains on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury.
As for United, they’ll continue to be without Paul Pogba as the midfielder is still recovering from ankle surgery while Scott McTominay is also on the sidelines with a knee injury that’s hampered him for a number of weeks.
Nemanja Matic isn’t expected to be involved after being forced off against Tranmere while Marcus Rashford has been ruled out until April with a fractured back. Axel Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo are also out but Eric Bailly made his return at the weekend.
Understandably, Manchester City are being heavily backed to book their place in the final with bookies placing them as the 3/10 favourites to win tomorrow night and a whopping 1/250 to qualify. United can be backed at 8/1 to win inside 90 minutes at the Etihad and are 40/1 to qualify. If you visit Betpal UK you can pick-up a free bet to use on the game and our favoured bet would be a 2-0 Man City win at odds of 13/2.
The Citizens dominated for long periods in the first leg at Old Trafford and they’re expected to have the lion’s share of possession again tomorrow. United will look to hit them on the counter attack and they could do some damage with the pace of Daniel James and Anthony Martial.
Man Utd’s 2-1 win at the Etihad in the league back in December will give them confidence, however, Rashford will be a huge miss this time around and Solskjaer is also having to make-do without Pogba and McTominay. Therefore, we think City should ease to a 2-0 win on Wednesday night to book their place in the final at Wembley.
Man City 2-0 Man Utd