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One Game Showdown

Man United host Man City in the Carabao Cup Semi-Finals

Retribution

 Manchester United and Manchester City do battle in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

The Red Devils will be seeking some payback after City knocked them out of this competition at the same stage last season.

Unlike a season ago this semi-final will be a one-game winner-take-all matchup.

Lineup News

 Heading into Wednesday’s match Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without Phil Jones (knee) and Marcos Rojo.

Victor Lindelof is doubtful as well with a back issue.

Edinson Cavani will serve the second match of his three-match ban handed down by the FA.

For City Pep Guardiola’s got numerous injury concerns, particularly at the back.

Eric Garcia, Ederson, Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus, and Tommy Doyle all have COVID and are self-isolating.

It’s rumored that Ferran Torres may also have the virus.

Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are doubtful with injuries.

Form

 Man United is on a roll having gone unbeaten in its last seven matches across all competitions.

They’re tied with Liverpool atop the Premier League with 33 points but have played one fewer game.

City isn’t too far behind them at the moment.

They’re unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions sitting in fifth place in the Premier League.

The Sky Blues have played one game less than United.

 Road to the Semis

 It’s been a relatively comfortable road for both teams to get to this stage of the competition.

City’s got wins over Bournemouth (2-1), Burnley (3-0), and Arsenal in the quarter-finals (4-1).

United’s road back to the semis includes victories at Luton Town (3-0), Brighton (3-0), and last week over Everton (2-0).

 Seeking Silverware

 United and City will be desperate for a win Wednesday but each for different reasons.

A win for Pep Guardiola’s side gives them a chance to win a record fourth straight League Cup and an eighth championship.

For United, they’re desperate to get their hands on a trophy having gone without one for three straight seasons.

Foreshadowing

 When Man United and City face off it’s always a treat.

When these teams face each other in this competition it usually spells good things for the victor.

City and United have faced each other six separate times (nine total games) in a League Cup tie.

On five occasions the team that advanced went on to win the competition.

Getting over the hump

 Man United has been in this position many times in recent memory.

Last season they made it to the last four of this competition, the Europa League and the FA Cup, and lost each time.

United haven’t won a semi-final since 2018 when they edged Tottenham 2-1 in the FA Cup before losing the final to Chelsea.

Man City on the other hand has won three of their last four semi-final games losing last season to Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Nearly Invincible

 This competition is far from the biggest in English football but it’s one that’s been very kind to Pep Guardiola.

His team has only lost two of their last 23 matches in this tournament.

The last loss came last season when United beat them 1-0 in the second leg of their semi-final but City went through 3-2 on aggregate.

Loaded with talent

 The matchup in midfield could make the difference in this game as both teams have some tremendous talent in that department.

For United, it usually begins and ends with Bruno Fernandes.

United’s ace midfielder has 33 goal involvements in the Premier League in his first 30 games.

In 16 EPL matches this season he’s got 11 goals and seven assists and is quickly becoming one of the best midfielders in all of Europe.

When you look at the most well-rounded midfielders in the game the first name that usually comes to mind is Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgian has three goals and eight assists in the Premier League this season but it’s his positional play and x-ray vision that makes him such a versatile threat.

Both sides have shown though they aren’t just a one-trick pony.

Paul Pogba helped set-up the winning goal last weekend against Aston Villa.

Scott McTominay spearheaded the United attack with two goals in a blowout win over Leeds United.

For City Ilkay Gundogan has helped bolster a midfield that loves to pass the ball around.

The German has goals in back-to-back games and has created plenty of chances for his side.

Match Info

 Wednesday’s match from Old Trafford gets underway at 7:45 pm. (JSL).

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