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Preview: Carabao Cup final place at stake if United can beat City by three clear goals; resurgent City to avoid defeat?

Manchester City -v- Manchester United

Carabao Cup

Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Wednesday 29 January 2020, KO 19:45 GMT

Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Simon Long, Richard West Fourth Official: Peter Bankes

Manchester United will travel across the city to face rivals Manchester City at the Etihad in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday evening. After losing 3-1 at Old Trafford at the start of the month Ole Gunnar Solskjaer side will have a lot to do in order to knock Pep Guardiola’s side out of the competition. United will need to score twice to level the tie on aggregate.

United beat City at the Etihad back in December with a 2-1 victory, something which Guardiola’s team were not ready for. After seeing this United side dominate, albeit against Tranmere, if the same formation and mentality were applied in this game, United could get a result away from home with could put them into the final but it will need to be a big result with United needing to aim for a clean sheet, which will be a big task.

United need to strengthen their squad with days left before the closure of the January transfer window and nothing seemingly happening although rumours still link United to Bruno Fernandes with other reports suggesting that the club is seeking a new striker in this transfer window – too little too late? However, with little seeming to materialise, it could be that United will continue with what they have, which is not enough.

Form: City in much better form than United, however, the belief from the victory over Tranmere could inspire United to achieve what may seem the impossible against City.

Manchester United: WLLWWL

Tranmere Rovers 6-0 W, Burnley 2-0 L, Liverpool 2-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Norwich City 4-0 W, Manchester City 3-1 L

Manchester City: WWDWWW

Fulham 4-0 W, Sheffield United 1-0 W, Crystal Palace 2-2 D, Aston Villa 6-1 W, Manchester United 3-1 W, Port Vale 4-1 W

Top Scorers: City have scored more goals than United this season but despite a lack of creativity, United have not done all that badly.

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Anthony Martial, 10 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

This season has seen United taking a step or two forward, then moving back at least two steps soon after. There is little consistency in the team after being beaten 2-0 by both Liverpool and Burnley recently. Un iced hit back and suck Tranmere for six in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday, gaining themselves some confidence ready for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against City on Wednesday.

Manchester City Goals: 21 – Sergio Agüero, 20 – Raheem Sterling, 16 – Gabriel Jesus, 9 – Riyad Mahrez, 7 – Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, 5 – Ilkay Gündogan, 3 – Phil Foden, Nicolás Otamendi, David Silva, 2 – Rodri, 1 – João Cancelo, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko

City may not be the runaway leaders in the Premier League this season, like they once were but they are still a team in form which will take a lot to beat them. A 3-1 victory at Old Trafford at the start of the month gave United a slight lifeline to remain in this competition with a place in the Carabao Cup final at stake. However, winning by three clear goals will be tough at the Etihad, even though United won 2-1 there last month.

Team News: Injuries still problematic for United with four key players on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. City have players out of action but the impact, for them, has been small.

United will be without Scott McTominay (knee), Axel Tuanzebe (thigh), Paul Pogba (ankle/foot), Marcos Rojo (calf/shin/heel), and Marcus Rashford (lower back) for this match. Tim Fosu-Mensah is lacking match fitness so might be included in the squad, albeit on the bench. Solskjaer may need to use the same players from Sunday’s match. He did manage to rest David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Daniel James.

City will definitely be without Leroy Sane (knee), and could see the likes of Riyad Mahrez (knock) and Joao Cancelo (ankle/foot) as doubts. However, Aymeric Laporte (fatigue) has only just recovered from four to five months on the sidelines through injury, so it is not yet known when he will be available to ply for City again. Guardiola’s side have few injury concerns that will weaken the squad – unlike United.

Predicted Starting XI: The 3-4-3 formation could have been a test ahead of the City match with United dominating with high pressing football – could it work against City?

Solskjaer used a formation with three at the back against Tranmere which was look at as strange, being that United were playing against a team struggling in League One. However, it could have been a test ahead of utilising a similar formation against City on Wednesday. De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, and James, all rested at the weekend could start with Bailly coming back into the fold. It might work for United.

Match Prediction: City may be twenty victories behind United but over the past decade, defeats come more often than victories; 13 defeats, 11 victories and three draws – City on top!

United and City have played a total of 180 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1891. United have won 74 times, drawn 52 times and lost 54 times. United lost in their last meeting at the start of the month, a 3-1 defeat for United with Marcus Rashford scoring for United when they were 3-0 down. City’s goals came from Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, and an Andreas Pereira own goal.

At the start of December 2019, United met City at the Etihad in the Premier League, winning 2-1 after Marcus Rashford scored a penalty in the 23rd minute of the match with Anthony Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. A late consolation from Nicolás Otamendi spoiled the party a little with United not keeping a clean sheet. This will be the third Manchester derby this season, with one more to come.

Manchester City 0-3 Manchester United

Review & Ratings: Rashford, Greenwood, Fred and Williams stand out in 3-1 City defeat; the squad needs reinforcement NOW!

Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are still in with a chance of reaching the final of the competition but only if they win by three clear goals to beat City’s aggregate scoreline, which is something that can only be dreamed about at this moment in time.

United conceded the first goal in the 17th minute of the match after Bernardo Silva finished superbly, leaving David De Gea guessing as to where he put it. United started the match well but soon lost their feet. City doubled their lead in the 33rd minute through Riyad Mahrez, assisted by Silva putting City into the driving seat in the match. An own goal by Andreas Pereira put City 3-0 up with United out of ideas.

United eventually got a goal from the game through Marcus Rashford, scoring his 17th goal of the season. It gives United a chance to get something from this fixture when they visit the Etihad at the end of the month. A win by three clear goals could see United make the final of the competition, although that seems pretty unlikely after witnessing the shocking state of the club in this match. Changes needed and fast.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

There was absolutely nothing that De Gea could have done to stop Silva's opening goal in the game. Mahrez's goal was pretty much untouchable too. In terms of leadership, De Gea should be offering more. I'm not sure where this poor form will end up. It seems it could be a much bigger rebuild that was first thought.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back was one of the best defenders in this game, the other being Williams at left-back. He was not in the best of form but has played a lot recently.

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4 Phil Jones

Granted, the veteran defender is rusty after playing very few minutes this season but even after a run of matches, he puts in the same poor performances. It is so underwhelming seeing him play for United after all of this time, achieving nothing.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede has fallen in stature over the past few matches and has started to become a liability. United certainly know how to pick defenders who will let the club down. Saying that though, with a better midfield ahead of him, he could be a much better player. Where is it all going wrong?

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33 Brandon Williams

He has everything that is needed at the club right now. Fight, determination, hunger, desire. He also plays like it is him that has been playing first team football for the past five years. Shaw has a fight to get the left-back position back, in my opinion.

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17 Fred

Fred was the best midfielder at the club against City but that is not exactly hard when you are lining up alongside Pereira. United need investment in this position, immediately or Fred will one day decide that he's not going to try anymore as with these players in the team, what is the point?

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15 Andreas Pereira

He's not a midfielder. That was apparent last season. Granted, United have injury problems at this moment in time but promote youth rather than seeing this guy struggle in a position he's not going to excel in.

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21 Daniel James

He has been a great addition to the team this season but of late, it has gone stagnant for him. His technique needs to improve and in terms of crossing, they need to be successful in order to create something for his teammates. Every player has an off day its just that many at United have off days regularly, I don't want him heading in that direction.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Rubbish again. Hacked at half time. He's been linked with an exit this week. Why would any team want to buy an attacking player who creates nothing? Something needs to give and it won't be Lingard all of a sudden pulling it from the bag. That is a surety.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The clubs top scorer looked lively throughout the match and scored United's only goal, that counted for them anyway. 17 goals this season, which is good but United are struggling massively. Investment needed to aid the players that want to fight for the club.

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11 Mason Greenwood

He's a better option that Martial right now. He assisted for Rashford's goal and has all the ingredients to make it in this game. I think he should have stayed on the pitch though, however, with Saturday's match fast approaching, any bit of rest will be good for him to get up to speed as he should be leading the line.

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Substitutes

31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Lingard 45'. The Serbian should have started in midfield, however, playing at the weekend, he might have needed the rest. He helped the midfield tick over in the second half. United played much better with him in the midfield.

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28 Angel Gomes

Replaced James 64'. He's better on the pitch than Lingard. He won the ball which led to United's goal late in the game. It is a shame that he could be leaving the club at the end of the season. Perhaps United need to try and change that.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Greenwood 81'. Came on late in the game. He's not an impact striker. I'm not convinced that he has much impact at all right now.

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 70′; Bernardo Silva 17′, Riyad Mahrez 33′, Andreas Pereira 38′ (og)

Assists: Kyle Walker 17′, Bernardo Silva 33′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Jones, Lindelof, Williams; Fred, Pereira; James (Gomes 64′), Lingard (Matic 45′), Rashford; Greenwood (Martial 81′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Dalot; Mata, Chong

Bookings: Jesse Lingard 35′, Fred 52′, Brandon Williams 73′; Rodrigo 63, Kyle Walker 82′

Confirmed Starting XI: Greenwood leads the line against City; Rashford, Lingard and James in support; Martial on the bench

Manchester United will be pitted against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United got the better of Pep Guardiola’s City a month ago at the Etihad in the Premier League. This will be a tough match for United as City will be seeking both revenge for their last defeat and to retain the trophy they won last season.

Solskjaer has some problems to contend with ahead of this match from the injuries of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, which has a negative effect on the team and the fact that there is a massive lack of creativity in the team, followed by an inability to pressure the opposition which was seen in the last match away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup where United had no shots on target.

It will be the second Manchester derby of the season, the first at Old Trafford so tensions will be high with the current Premier League and Carabao Cup holders arrive at the Theatre of Dreams. The players should be motivated for this game, if not, why not. It would be good to see United return to winning ways but much like in the last match, United need to ensure they actually turn a corner, not regress once again.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Jones, Lindelof, Williams;

Fred, Pereira;

James, Lingard, Rashford;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Romero; Dalot; Mata, Gomes, Matic, Chong; Martial

Manchester City:

Bravo;

Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Mendy;

Rodrigo, Gündogan, De Bruyne;

Mahrez, Sterling, Bernardo

Substitutes:

Ederson; Cancelo, Garcia; D. Silva, Foden; Jesus, Aguero

United and City have played a total of 179 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1891. United have won 74 times, drawn 52 times and lost 53 times. The last defeat to City came in the Premier League back in April 2019, a 2-0 defeat at the Old Trafford with Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sané scoring in the second half of the game. City did the double over United last season, winning 3-1 at home.

At the start of December 2019, United met City at the Etihad in the Premier League, winning 2-1 after Marcus Rashford scored a penalty in the 23rd minute of the match with Anthony Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. A late consolation from Nicolás Otamendi spoiled the party a little with United not keeping a clean sheet. This will be the second Manchester derby this season, with two more to come.

How United could look in the Manchester derby against City; 4-2-3-1 with Martial, Rashford, Fred, Garner, Wan-Bissaka, and Williams all featuring?

Manchester United will be back in action on Tuesday evening, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. It is hard to be excited ahead of United matches of late as the squad is dwindling due to injury and is crying out for reinforcement, which seems to be played down by the manager, whether he has plans to delve into the January transfer market, we shall soon see but he needs to.

United have not won a match in 2020 – losing 2-0 to Arsenal on New Year’s Day and enduring a 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup not even registering a single shot on target in the match and now a replay will be played during a week which United were not scheduled to play which is the last thing the club needed at this time with so many player out injured and youth not being utilised as maybe they should.

Something will need to give at some stage which is why delving into the transfer market this month is needed as United are still struggling from the lack of reinforcement in the summer, especially in midfield with just Fred and Nemanja Matic the only experienced players in the position whilst Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are injured. There is also a lack of creativity at the club which needs to be sorted. A big job to do.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one should be restored to the starting XI to face City on Tuesday evening in place of Sergio Romero, who faced Wolves in the FA Cup. The Argentinian looked as if he could not participate after suffering an injury, which is something United cannot afford to turn into something big at this stage of the season so treating him like he is injured and picking De Gea instead will stop anything from becoming nefarious. De Gea will be relishing the match against City with United looking to beat them again after their 2-1 win last month.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

Aaron Wan-Bissaka should be recalled into the squad to face City steer being an unused substitute against Wolves at the weekend. His performance helped United beat City in their last match in December and he could do the same again. Brandon Williams needs to keep his place as in my opinion, he is the first-choice left-back at the club based on what he offers. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire (providing he recovers in time) could keep their places too, based on the lack of replacements in the central defensive position. Phil Jones could start ahead of Maguire though.

Midfield: Fred, James Garner

The midfield needs some nurturing at this moment in time as United are paying the price for not replacing Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini in the summer. With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba both injured and Nemanja Matic plating 90 minutes at the weekend, the likes of James Garner and/or Dylan Levitt may need to be brought into the squad. Garner should start in this scenario with Levitt involved in the squad, although with the likes of Andreas Pereira, he may not make the actual squad this time, which has happened before for him.

Attacking Midfielders: Mason Greenwood, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford

United need to find a better way to attack their opposition. There has been little creativity at stages this season and with United’s poor midfield shape, this is part of the problem. In this game, I feel Mason Greenwood could start on the right with Marcus Rashford on the left. Daniel James, who can play on either flank should be tested behind the striker, which could help United get something from the game – they need to. This might work for this match but going forward, United need to look at the transfer market as two or three more injuries could be costly.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman has a lot to live up to if he is going to become one of the legendary strikers the club has seen over the years and he needs to do a lot more to carry the club, like his predecessors have. He’s in double figures at this stage of the season, which is good considering he had an eight-match injury layoff earlier in the season. Martial can be that player if he finds the right spaces behind the opposition defence but he needs creativity and that is a major problem at this moment in time.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot; Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic

Solskjaer will need to utilise the bench in order to try and get a result against City. This will be a match with a aggregate scoreline so he could aim to see what happens on Tuesday and try and better it at the end of the month, like what happened in Paris last March. I expect Sergio Romero to be back on the bench and if he does not start in place of Maguire, Jones will be on the bench. Diogo Dalot could be the fullback on the bench. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Angel Gomes and Nemanja Matic could also be available if needed.

Preview: United set to face City with little creativity and looking lacklustre in both the midfield and attack

Manchester United -v- Manchester City

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 7 January 2020, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Ian Hussin; Darren Cann Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Kevin Friend VAR Assistant: Stephen Child

Manchester United will be back in action on Tuesday evening, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. It is hard to be excited ahead of United matches of late as the squad is dwindling due to injury and is crying out for reinforcement, which seems to be played down by the manager, whether he has plans to delve into the January transfer market, we shall soon see but he needs to.

United have not won a match in 2020 – losing 2-0 to Arsenal on New Year’s Day and enduring a 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup not even registering a single shot on target in the match and now a replay will be played during a week which United were not scheduled to play which is the last thing the club needed at this time with so many player out injured and youth not being utilised as maybe they should.

Something will need to give at some stage which is why delving into the transfer market this month is needed as United are still struggling from the lack of reinforcement in the summer, especially in midfield with just Fred and Nemanja Matic the only experienced players in the position whilst Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are injured. There is also a lack of creativity at the club which needs to be sorted. A big job to do.

Form: United winless in 2020 winning three, drawing once and losing twice in their last six matches; City unbeaten in 2020 with five wins and one defeat in their last six matches.

Manchester United: DLWWLW

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Arsenal 2-0 L, Burnley 2-0 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Watford 2-0 L, Colchester United 3-0 W

Manchester City: WWWLWW

Port Vale 4-1 W, Everton 2-1 W, Sheffield United 2-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 L, Leicester City 3-1 W, Oxford United 3-1 W

Top Scorers: 48 goals scored by United this season with Marcus Rashford scoring 16; 85 goals scored by City this season with Raheem Sterling leading with 20.

Manchester United Goals: 16 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Anthony Martial, 8 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United ended 2019 in style by winning six times, drawing twice and losing once during the month of December. However, on New Year’s Day, Solskjaer’s side fell to a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates then three days later, drew 0-0 to Wolves in the FA Cup at the Molineux – not having a single shot on target. Something has got to give with United delving into the transfer market to aid the season.

Manchester City Goals: 20 – Raheem Sterling, 15 – Sergio Agüero, 13 – Gabriel Jesus, 7 – Kevin De Bruyne, 6 – Riyad Mahrez, 5 – Bernardo Silva, 4 – Ilkay Gündogan, 3 – Phil Foden, Nicolás Otamendi, David Silva, 2 – Rodri, 1 – João Cancelo, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko

City ended 2019 in stile winning six times and losing twice during the month of December. In 2020, they have beaten Everton and Port Vale, scoring seven goals and conceding just twice. Granted, their reign as the Premier League champions may be short-lived with Liverpool sitting 14 points clear – with a game in hand but City still hold dominance against most teams in the league and beyond.

Team News: United without McTominay, Pogba, Rojo, and Tuanzebe through injury whereas Bailly and Fosu-Mensah are not match fit. Martial and Lingard could recover from illness in time whereas Shaw could miss this match too through illness.

United with be without four players due to injury; Scott McTominay will be out of action until the end of February with a knee injury, Paul Pogba could return before the end of the month with an ankle injury, Axel Tuanzebe (thigh) and Marcos Rojo (other) could be out for the next three weeks. Eric Bailly and Tom Fosu-Mensah have recently returned to training after recovering from knee surgery.

Harry Maguire could be missing from the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against City after he suffered during the first half of the FA Cup draw with Wolves on Saturday and might not recover in time ahead of Tuesday’s match. Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw missed the match due to illness with the latter having a 50% chance of recovering in time to face City at Old Trafford.

City will face United without Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane (both knee injuries) whereas Nicolas Otamendi did not face Port Vale and could be missing from the team that faces United. Goalkeeper Ederson Moraes could well be back in the team to face United after missing the FA Cup fixture due to illness. Other than that, Pep Guardiola has a full squad for his first trip to the Theatre of Dreams this season.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial to lead the line; Rashford, James and Greenwood in support with Garner and Fred in midfield?

I fully expect David De Gea to be back in the starting XI against City on Tuesday evening and there is a chance that Phil Jones features against the noisy neighbours if Maguire does not recover in time. Brandon Williams should keep his place in the team as he played well against Wolves and is a better option ahead of Shaw. In midfield, Dylan Levitt or James Garner could get a game playing alongside Fred.

Match Prediction: United seeking to overturn recent poor form with a defeat and a draw in the two matches played in 2020 so far; City will be seeking to get the better over United after their victory last month at the Etihad.

United and City have played a total of 179 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1891. United have won 74 times, drawn 52 times and lost 53 times. The last defeat to City came in the Premier League back in April 2019, a 2-0 defeat at the Old Trafford with Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sané scoring in the second half of the game. City did the double over United last season, winning 3-1 at home.

At the start of December 2019, United met City at the Etihad in the Premier League, winning 2-1 after Marcus Rashford scored a penalty in the 23rd minute of the match with Anthony Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. A late consolation from Nicolás Otamendi spoiled the party a little with United not keeping a clean sheet. This will be the second Manchester derby this season, with two more to come.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City

Review & Ratings: Marcus Rashford scores, assists and forces an own goal in 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Colchester United

Manchester United beat Colchester United 3-0 in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. The first half gave nothing to write home about but six minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford had United ahead. Five minutes after that, an own goal doubled United’s lead. Ten minutes after the first goal was scored, Anthony Martial had United 3-0 up and cruising into the semi-final draw.

United started well against Colchester and had many chances to open the scoring in the early stages of the match with Marcus Rashford missing chance after chance. The first half ended 0-0 and the highlights of the half seemed to be that three players were booked; two for Colchester. There were no changes for either team during the break with both teams seeking a way to reach the semi-final stages of the Carabao Cup.

It took United just six second half minutes to take the lead with Rashford scoring his 14th goal of the season in all competitions. Colchester were in the attack with Sergio Romero gathering a low ball into the box and sending United on the attack. The ball was lumped to Nemanja Matic, who released Rashford into space with the forward then cutting inside on his right foot to fire past Dean Gerken.

Just five minutes later, United were 2-0 up and it seemed Rashford had his second goal of the evening. Mason Greenwood drove into space down the right and delivered the ball into Rashford but he was beaten to the ball by Ryan Jackson with the ball deflecting off him and beating the keeper. Rashford’s celebration was short, seemingly knowing that he had not scored the goal. However, it really does not matter. 2-0!

United found their third goal of the game in the 61st minute of the match with Anthony Martial scoring his seventh goal of the season. Greenwood picked out Mata on the edge of the box with the Spanish midfielder floating the ball over the top which Rashford receiving it and passing it across the face of the goal for Martial to bury into the back of the net with a great finish to see of the League Two club.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian did not have a lot to do against Colchester. In the second half, with Colchester attacking, he gathered a low ball in the box and sent United forward, passing to Matic, who set Rashford up to score the first goal of the game. He is a great second goalkeeper to have in a team - never moans about a lack of playing time and puts in his best performance every time he plays.

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18 Ashley Young

The veteran winger-cum-fullback added some experience at the back against the League Two side. He was booked in the first half for a cynical challenge but added a sense of professionally as the team worked hard to break down Colchester and get the win.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

The academy graduate was a good performer against Colchester at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup. It was good to see him get some more time on the pitch. He's got leadership in him and he's one of our own. He will be rivalling Victor Lindelof soon enough.

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5 Harry Maguire

The England defender nearly had his first goal for the club in the 84th minute against Colchester with the goalkeeper pulling off a great save to deny the £80 million man. He played well in his sixth consecutive match for the club with three big games coming up before the end of the year.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back got forward a lot of the time with United seeking to find the opening goal. It is good to see him back in the team as he clearly needed some minutes to help his match fitness. He was replaced by Brandon Williams in the 62nd minute of the match.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian international has not really played a lot of football this season and finds himself being linked to Inter Milan, among others as we head towards the January transfer window. Matic set up the opening goal for Rashford after being played forward by Romero after he intercepted a low ball in the box.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Statistically, United's app would have you believe that Pereira was the most influential player on the pitch but in the first half, he was shocking. He struggled to string a pass, break his League Two opposition down or do anything of note. To think he;'s a first team player makes you wonder.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The academy graduate was unable to get his name on the scoresheet against Colchester but he had some involvement in the scoreline with his ball into Rashford for the second goal becoming an own goal. He gained some valuable experience in the first team, which will benefit him as the season progresses. He has risen in stature and can now be considered a first team player, which is a good thing.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish magician seemed lackadaisical in the first half of the game with the team struggling to break down the League Two side. The second half was much better and Mata was involved in helping get the better of Colchester; his corner which forced a save from Maguire was his highlight from the game.

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10 Marcus Rashford

It seemed it was going to be one of those matches for Rashford after many misses in the first half. However, after six second-half minutes, he has his goal. It seemed like he had another but it was an own goal. The forward was replaced by Jesse Lingard in the 62nd minute of the match having a goal and an assist to his name.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman got his name back on the scoresheet matching Mason Greenwood's seven goal this season. In the first half, United seemed to be buoyed with the pressure of the League Two side but in the second half, it did not take long to get things moving. He needs to find his feet and lead from the front and get amongst the goals again, like he did in his debut season at the club.

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Substitutes

33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Shaw 62'. The left-back does not take any prisoners and got amongst it through his appearance, which will see Solskjaer happy with United pushing their opposition a bit more in the second half. He nearly got his name on the scoresheet again but a lack of space and maybe a but of luck stopped that from happening.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Rashford 62'. The attacker got stuck into the game as United had risen in stature after the first goal was scored.

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James Garner

Replaced Tuanzebe 66'. The academy graduate came on with 24 minutes remaining and Matic seemingly moved into the defence. Garner did well to help keep United moving forward despite the fact they were 3-0 up at the time of his introduction.

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 51′, Ryan Jackson 56′ (og), Anthony Martial 61′

Assists: Nemanja Matic 51′, Marcus Rashford 61′

Manchester United: Romero; Young, Tuanzebe (Garner 66′), Maguire, Shaw (Williams 62′); Matic, Pereira; Greenwood, Mata, Rashford (Lingard 62′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Jones; McTominay; Chong

Bookings: Ashley Young 22′; Harry Pell 18′, Dean Gerken 39′, Callum Harriott 73′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and Mata lead the line against Colchester in the Carabao Cup

Manchester United come up against Colchester United in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could be 90 minutes from a semi-final place in the competition this season, which is further than they came last season as they lost to Derby County on penalties in the third round of the competition. United have not faced Colchester for 26 years and they have never played at Old Trafford.

Against Everton, United played their 4,000th match with at least one academy graduate in the first team. This record will continue against Colchester with the addition of some younger players in the squad to give them some experience in the first team, which will help their ability to meet the criteria to make it at the club. Solskjaer seems to have put a lot of attention into giving youth a chance, which is great.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Young, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Pereira;

Greenwood, Mata, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Grant; Jones, Williams; Lingard, Garner, McTominay; Chong

Colchester United:

Gerken;

Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Bramall;

Lapslie, Pell, Comley, Harriott;

Nouble, Norris

Substitutes:

Ross, Sowunmi, Brown, Clampin, Stevenson, Gambin, Poku

United and Colchester United have played a total of two matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1979. United have won both matches. The first was placed on 1979 in the FA Cup, a 1-0 victory for United with Jimmy Greenhoff scoring the only goal of the game. United got to the final of the FA Cup in the 1978/79 season but were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal, which was a shame.

The second match against Colchester United came just over four years later in 1983, this time in the League Cup. It was a 2-0 victory for United this time with goals score by Gordon McQueen and Remi Moses. United made it to the next round of the League Cup that season, drawing 1-1 with Oxford United, needing a replay, which also ended up a 1-1 draw with a second replay ending with Oxford United winning 2-1.

How Manchester United could look against Colchester United; 4-2-3-1 with Greenwood, Ramazani, Gomes, Chong, Garner, Levitt and Tuanzebe

Manchester United welcome League Two side Colchester United to Old Trafford in the quarter-final stage of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will come against John McGreal’s side for only the third time in the history of both clubs, the last match was more than 26 years ago and it will be the first time that Colchester has ever played at the Theatre of Dreams.

Despite the U23’s, who beat Reading 4-1 in the Premier League 2 Division 2 fixture on Monday evening, it is expected that some of the talented youth players will be in the squad to face Colchester, giving some of the first team players a rest ahead of the visit to Watford (Sunday), the visit of Newcastle United (Boxing Day) and the visit to Burnley (28/12) which will end 2019, hopefully, in style.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian goalkeeper is a competent player to step into the shoes of David de Gea. It is important that the Spanish goalkeeper is rested ahead of a big three matches which will be played in the Premier League before the end of the month. With Romero in goal, it would seem to be problematic for Colchester to get amongst the goals, however, it all depends on who Solskjaer picks in the team, which could well be another young squad.

Defenders: Ashley Young, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Brandon Williams

I think the defence will be rotated with Ashley Young (right-back), Axel Tuanzebe, and Phil Jones becoming the experienced members and Brandon Williams coming in at left-back. Harry Maguire has played in a number of matches recently and United can afford to let him rest, despite the fact I think he will be on the bench being that this is a home match, the third home match in a row. It may not be the most inspiring team with Young and Jones but Solskjaer will need to rotate with three Premier League matches being played before the end of the month from Sunday to the following Saturday, a six day period.

Midfield: James Garner, Dylan Levitt

The midfield will be rotated with Paul Pogba still not fit to play, which seems something of a coincidence being that he’s now ill and injured. It seems that we may be told something else until January, when he could leave the club after stating that he wanted a new challenge in the summer. However, he may play for the club gain. Scott McTominay and Fred have played in the midfield for a number of matches now and may need a rest, especially with what lies ahead for them. James Garner and Dylan Levitt could be give the chance against this Colchester side, which would be some great experience for them.

Attacking Midfielders: Largie Ramazani, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong

I think the likes of Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford will be rested for this match although I think the latter will be on the bench, in case he is needed. It is time to give more first team experience to Angel Gomes, Largie Ramazani and Tahith Chong. Gomes has not played in the first team since the Astana game in Kazakhstan and could well be seen as being in with a chance to feature once again. Tahith Chong had an appearance just under a week ago against AZ Alkmaar and did well in an attacking position. He played for the U23s on Monday, scoring one goal and assisting another. Largie Ramazani played against Astana and played 45 minutes against Reading for the U23s on Monday evening, so could have a place in the team.

Striker: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood has really taken to playing first team football this season. He has not outscored Anthony Martial despite playing fewer minutes than the Frenchman and seems to be more of a predator in the box. If he can double his goalscoring before the end of the season, he will have done well at the club this season. Greenwood scored three goals in the past week, scoring twice against AZ Alkmaar and once against Everton, the clubs last two matches. He could run riot against Colchester, which would be good for his further development and for the club.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot; Andreas Pereira, Fred, Scott McTominay; Marcus Rashford

The bench will be important for United and Solskjaer. There will need to be a mixture of experience and talent, just in case the starting XI does not have enough firepower to get the victory, although Colchester would need to be very good – they did knock Spurs out of this competition 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw though. Lee Grant could provide the cover from Romero. Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot, who might be unlikely to feature could provide cover in defence, whilst Andreas Pereira, Fred snd Scott McTominay provide cover in the midfield. Marcus Rashford could be called upon if United need a goal, or two.

Preview: Solskjaer seeking Carabao Cup semi-final place with victory over Colchester; youth to be given another chance to impress?

Manchester United -v- Colchester United

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 18 December 2019, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: David Coote Assistants: Neil Davies; Nick Hopton Fourth Official: David Webb

Manchester United welcome Colchester United to Old Trafford in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could be 90 minutes from a semi-final place in the competition this season, which is further than they came last season as they lost to Derby County on penalties in the third round of the competition. United have not faced Colchester for 26 years and they have never played at Old Trafford.

Against Everton, United played their 4,000th match with at least one academy graduate in the first team. This record will continue against Colchester with the addition of some younger players in the squad to give them some experience in the first team, which will help their ability to meet the criteria to make it at the club. Solskjaer seems to have put a lot of attention into giving youth a chance, which is great.

Form: United are a team in much better form with one defeat in the last six matches. Colchester have two. United will be seeking a victory to head into the semi-final stage of the competition.

Manchester United: DWWWDL

Everton 1-1 D, AZ Alkmaar 4-0 W, Manchester City 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Aston Villa 2-2 D, Astana 2-1 L

Colchester United: DWLDWL

Scunthorpe United 2-2 D, Salford City 1-0 W, Stevenage 2-1 L, Cheltenham Town 1-1 D, Ipswich Town 1-0 W, Coventry City 2-0 L

Top Scorers: Mason Greenwood has scored as many goals (seven) as Colchester’s top scorer, Luke Norris, this season. He will be seeking to catch up with Marcus Rashford.

Manchester United Goals: 13 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Mason Greenwood, 6 – Anthony Martial, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 1 – Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Brandon Williams, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Own Goal, Victor Lindelof

In the past six matches, United have become better with just one defeat, two draws and three victories. Solskjaer’s side has scored 12 goals in the six matches, conceding seven goals. The best result was the 4-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar almost a week ago which saw Mason Greenwood score twice in the game, adding a third goal for the week against Everton at the weekend. This match could give more experience for talented youth.

Colchester United Goals: 7 – Luke Norris, 3 – Tom Eastman, Frank Nouble, Theo Robinson, Courtney Senior, 2 – Brandon Comley, Luke Gambin, Ryan Jackson, Kwame Poku, Luke Prosser, 1 – Harry Pell, Ben Stevenson

In the past six matches, Colchester as won twice, drawn twice and lost twice. It could be suggested that they are a team that will be the underdog against United, no matter which players were on the pitch. However, with United recently being able to beat big teams but struggle against smaller teams, it could be a match that United will need to have a plan. Will Colchester be a match for United? We will find out on Wednesday.

Team News: Paul Pogba not ready to return this week, this time because of illness. Bad luck or convenience? Diogo Dalot could return, possibly to the bench.

United could be boosted by the return of Diogo Dalot in this match after he has come through a period of injury and been training for the last week or so. However, Paul Pogba is now injured so will not be back in action in the near future, which is either bad luck or convenience. Solskjaer has confirmed that the squad will be rotated for this match, as they were against AZ Alkmaar last week.

Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, and Tim Fosu-Mensah will also be out of this match. Despite playing on Monday evening, there could be some U23 players in the squad, which would be good for their development. However, I expect United to include the likes of Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay etc possibly on the bench in case they are needed at any time in the match.

Predicted Starting XI: Mason Greenwood to lead the line against Colchester United; supported by Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and Largie Ramazani?

I would like to see Mason Greenwood lead the line for United against Colchester United as I feel he has the instinct to walk right into the team and lead based on the fact he’s scored seven goals for the club this season, playing fewer minutes that Anthony Martial. I would also like to see Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and Largie Ramazani support the attack as this trio could also be the future of the club, in some respects.

Match Prediction: United have played Colchester twice winning both matches. However, it has been more than 26 years since the last meeting.

United and Colchester United have played a total of two matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1979. United have won both matches. The first was placed on 1979 in the FA Cup, a 1-0 victory for United with Jimmy Greenhoff scoring the only goal of the game. United got to the final of the FA Cup in the 1978/79 season but were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal, which was a shame.

The second match against Colchester United came just over four years later in 1983, this time in the League Cup. It was a 2-0 victory for United this time with goals score by Gordon McQueen and Remi Moses. United made it to the next round of the League Cup that season, drawing 1-1 with Oxford United, needing a replay, which also ended up a 1-1 draw with a second replay ending with Oxford United winning 2-1.

Manchester United 3-0 Colchester United

Confirmed Starting XI: Rashford, Lingard, James, Williams and Romero start in Carabao Cup clash against Chelsea

Manchester United will be faced with a challenge from Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United faced Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Old Trafford at the start of the season, winning 4-0. But since then the squad has been plagued with injuries and a lack of consistency.

In the past three matches, United did well, drawing 1-1 against Premier League leaders Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams, winning 1-0 away to Partizan Belgrade in the UEFA Europa League and at the weekend, beating Norwich City 3-1 in the Premier League, the first match they have scored more than one goal in since the opener against Chelsea.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Lindelof, Maguire, Rojo;

Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred, Williams;

Lingard;

James, Rashford

Substitutes:

Grant; Jones, Young; Mata, Pereira, Garner; Martial

Chelsea:

Caballero;

James, Zouma, Guehi, Alonso;

Gilmour, Jorginho, Kovacic;

Hudson-Odoi, Batshauyi, Pulisic

Substitutes:

Cumming, Azpilicueta, Lamptey, Mount, Pedro, Abraham, Giroud

United and Chelsea have played a total of 184 matches in the history of both clubs. United has won 79 times, drawing 51 times and losing 54 times. At the start of the season, in the Premier League, United beat Chelsea 4-0. United were last defeated by Chelsea on the 19 May 2018, the Emirates FA Cup final the season before last.

United do not have a great record at Stamford Bridge, which has caused problems for them year after year. However, in the last four meetings, two of which were played at Stamford Bridge, United have won twice and draw twice which is a pretty good record against Chelsea. Solskjaer will be seeking to extend that unbeaten record this evening.

copyright: JW