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Confirmed Starting XI: Martial and Greenwood lead the line against City; three at the back again for United – high press incoming?

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 have announced the singing of Bruno Fernandes who is currently on his way to Manchester for a medical, however, the signing came too late for this evening’s match and he will most likely made his debut at Old Trafford on Saturday when United welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League. United still have more to do in order to strengthen the team but creativity should improve with this new signing.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams;

Lingard;

Greenwood, Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Jones, Dalot; Mata, Pereira, James

Manchester City:

Bravo;

Walker, Rodrigo, Otamendi, Cancelo;

De Bruyne, Gündogan, B. Silva;

Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling

Substitutes:

Ederson; Stones, Zinchenko, Garcia; D. Silva, Foden; Jesus

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.

The Manchester derby League Cup semi-final: 10 years on

Manchester United will be attempting to try and turn around a first leg deficit in a League Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday night, just as they were in 2010 when the Reds knocked the ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City out on the way to winning the competition. 

The infamous two-legged tie was one of the first indications that City were going to spend the next ten years collecting most of the trophies in English football, even if Sir Alex Ferguson and United fans didn’t want to believe it at the time.

The previous summer City splashed the cash on Emmanuel Adebayor, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz. Although most of these signings majorly flopped, their most astute acquisition was that of Carlos Tevez, with City jumping on the chance to sign him when United decided against making his loan permanent.

“Not in my lifetime.”Sir Alex Ferguson on whether Manchester United would ever go into a derby match as underdogs – 19 September 2009

One of Tevez’s first games in the light blue of City was in the Manchester Derby in September of 2009. Booed and mocked for ‘not winning trophies anymore’ throughout the game, Tevez could only look on as his replacement in the team Michael Owen scored a dramatic last-minute winner in a 4-3 victory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaIiCvoISv8

However, in January 2010, Tevez got ‘his revenge’, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory at the Etihad to give City a first leg advantage in the then named Carling Cup. The bitterness from Tevez’s departure the previous summer spilled over in the match. After the Argentine’s first goal, his provocative celebration resulted in him going over to substitute Gary Neville who was warming up and famously cupping his ears. Neville subdued response was to raise his middle finger. 

The first leg was also Roberto Mancini’s first Manchester derby and City fans took to him the moment he first donned his blue and white scarf on the touchline. Alex Ferguson wasn’t quite as charmed by Mancini however, as he instantly recognised him as a man who could take City to another level, in similar ways to how he saw Arsene Wenger at Arsenal when he first arrived.

By the time the second leg came around two weeks later, City fans were dreaming of a first trip to the new Wembley and the chance to tear down the ‘34 years’ banner reminding them of how long it had been since their club had won a major trophy. United claimed bragging rights once more as a last-minute Wayne Rooney header saw them turn the tie around, stemming the blue tide for at least the short-term.

The second leg was just as ugly as the first, with a strong tackle by Darren Fletcher on Micah Richards starting a brawl between the two players. Many would say that with lack of Mancunian born players on each team that this sort of passion and commitment has been lost, but the recent derby in December had plenty of strong tackles and unprofessional fouls, for example Andreas Pereira’s naughty clip on Raheem Sterling.

Unfortunately, what we also saw in the second leg in 2010 was the unsavoury side of the Manchester Derby when passions run too high. Craig Bellamy was hit by a bottle whilst taking a corner in front of the United fansand sadly this is something still prominent as seen in the game in December when Fred was racially abused by a City fan and also in 2013 when Rio Ferdinand’s head was cut by a coin thrown from the City end.

Those two legs in January of 2010 set the tone for years of rivalry, with the year after City finally ending their trophy drought, winning the FA Cup in 2011 after beating United in the Semi-Final. Another year after they pipped United to the Premier League title in 2012 in the last second thanks to Sergio Aguero’s dramatic winner. Mancini had taken City to the next level just as Ferguson feared with the likes of Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Touré and David Silva all becoming world class players.

Both Mancini and Ferguson left their posts in May 2013 after Sir Alex had wrestled the title back off of City to end on a high and put United back on top. Despite his efforts, in the years since City have made smart, calculated decisions to leave them now light years ahead. Manuel Pellegrini layed the foundations for Pep Guardiola to win back-to-back titles and a domestic treble.

All the while United are no closer to similar success through both dreadful recruitment and planning, with several managers failing to find the answer. In 2010, after the second leg of that semi-final tie, United fans would laugh if told that City would spend the next decade finishing above the Reds in the league and winning trophies nearly every season. In 2020, it’s now more than likely a city fan would laugh if you said the same to them about United.

Written by Alex Metcalfe

How United could look in the Carabao Cup against City; 3-4-3 Lindelof, Bailly and Maguire in defence, Greenwood, Martial and James in attack?

Manchester United will face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at the Etihad on Wednesday. This will be a big game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he looks to find a way for his team to beat Pep Guardiola’s City after their 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford at the start of the month. The 6-0 Emirates FA Cup victory over Tranmere Rovers on Sunday could well have boosted the confidence of the squad and given them a chance total on City with a different formation.

United would need to win this match by three clear goals if they were to make it to the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 1 March 2020, however, at least 90 minutes of football stands in the way of achieving that feat, not to mention a City team in resurgent form, scoring 20 goals and conceding just five goals in the past six matches, winning five and drawing once. It is form that United can only dream about.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at the Etihad on Wednesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper was rested for the 6-0 FA Cup victory over Tranmere on Sunday meaning he should be fit to face City for the second time this month. De Gea has not been in the best of form this season but he has made some impressive saves. If the players and the supporters stick by him like they did at the start of his United career, it could well pay off again with him raising his form. Of course, having the best side available would be helpful along with the squad being strengthened significantly, which should be a plan this month with injuries to key players in the squad for long spells of the season.

Defenders: Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire

Three at the back worked against Tranmere. Maybe it was because United were playing against a team struggling in League One – perhaps it was because United were able to play to a higher tempo further up the pitch. That formation could have been a test by Solskjaer to find a way of coming back from behind to beat City. Remember Paris in March? It could work. I expect both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire to keep their places in defence but Eric Bailly should be tested against City, which might add something to the defence and the rest of the team. There is a period of rest coming up too, giving these players a significant break, of around two weeks before playing again.

Midfield: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Brandon Williams

Four across the midfield worked on Sunday and it has worked for other clubs in the Premier League and beyond. Diogo Dalot played well against Tranmere but Aaron Wan-Bissaka should be ahead of him after a rest this weekend with Brandon Williams replacing Luke Shaw on the left side. Fred should start ahead of Andreas Pereira with Nemanja Matic keeping his starting place after playing 45 minutes in the FA Cup. This is the best United has in this area at this moment in time, unless something magical happens before kick off on Wednesday, which is unlikely. United will miss the likes of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay, which could have made this area even stronger for this match.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Daniel James

The forward three can be played in so may ways. A straight three at the front, two forward with one behind them, one forward with two behind; this can interchange throughout the match, which might help in getting the better of United’s noisy neighbours. With Marcus Rashford out of action and a lack of attacking players to choose from, Anthony Martial should be the main striker – he did well against Tranmere on Sunday. Mason Greenwood should keep his place in the team also as he adds something to the team. Daniel James was rested against Tranmere, meaning he should be ready to face City, although Jesse Lingard could keep his place in the team. James could do something on the left, as he did at the start of the season. Lingard from the bench could be good for United, if his confidence from his performance on Sunday continues into Wednesday.

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

United will need players on the bench who can come on and do a job should they be required. Sergio Romero will move to the bench for this game after keeping another clean sheet on Sunday. Defensively, Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw could also add something, should they be needed. Both Dalot and Shaw got forward a lot of the time against Tranmere and they could offer that against City too. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Angel Gomes, if chosen in the squad could all provide in the midfield/attacking areas too, should they too be needed. Of course, Tahith Chong could make the bench ahead of Gomes, just like he did in Sunday’s victory over Tranmere in the FA Cup.

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

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

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: Rashford and Martial sink City at the Etihad; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred and Lingard dug deep in hard-fought victory

Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after being fouled inside the box with the penalty awarded by VAR. Anthony Martial doubled United’s lead six minutes later, shocking the home side. United have ended a great week and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be proud.

It was a great start for United, who seemed to throw everything they had at City. Marcus Rashford won a penalty in the 23rd minute of the match after Bernardo Silva fouled him in the box. The referee did not award the penalty, with City on the attack but after a break in the game, VAR gave the penalty with the United forward finding the back of the net easily. He could have scored twice in quick succession after the penalty.

Six minutes later, United were 2-0 up after Anthony Martial found the back of the net. United were running riot at the Etihad. United’s attacking players were too much for City’s defence, who looked like they needed yet more investment. Daniel James got the assist as the Frenchman beat Ederson at the near post, putting United 2-0 up, unlucky that they had not scored more. City will be hurting, which makes it feel so much better.

City got themselves back into the game in the 85th minute of the match after Nicolas Otamendi scored a bullet header from Riyadh Mahrez’s cross into the box to get one back for City, who just did not do enough to get the better of United throughout the match. It was a pretty determined second half from City, who now have a massive chase on their hands to retain the Premier League title this season.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

City seemed out of the game, despite creating lots of chances but messing them up. De Gea made one great save to deny David Silva. It was a frought ten minutes (including added time) after Nicolas Otamendi got one back for City.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back had a great game against City and really put his all into his position to help United get the result they needed and a result City did not want. Wan-Bissaka dealt with Raheem Sterling to the best of his abilities.

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2 Victor Lindelof

I thought the Swede played well in the first half but seemed lose some momentum in the second half when City started their onslaught t try and change the scoreline. He held well though but this could be a weakness for United moving forward.

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5 Harry Maguire

The England defender seemed to raise his game ever so slightly against City, which was needed against the reigning champions, who mayc not be champions for long.

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23 Luke Shaw

It was a good game for Shaw. His first Premier League start since August and what a game to come back into the starting XI. He showed a massive amount of commitment and it was a shame he had to come off at the end.

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39 Scott McTominay

Glad to have him back at full speed. His energy, determination and hunger is a great thing for his teammates to see. He may not be gifted with world class ability but he is a player that United need in the squad. City will have hated coming up against him.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian midfielder has raised his game on a match by match basis, getting better every time. He put so much of his ability into this match and will cause problems for Paul Pogba going forward, unless the Frenchman plays forther forward. Got his with a few lighters from the scummy City fans and seemed to have a monkey chant thrown at him. He did not react though, which will anny the neanderthal aiming to abuse him.

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Review & Ratings: Rashford and Martial sink City at the Etihad; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred and Lingard dug deep in hard-fought victory

What a game for the Welshman. Another assist which is showing that he's a much better player, in terms of impact, ability that Alecis Sanchez, who just could not be bothered in his time at United putting money over everything else. James will only get better and he's given a lot this season and will have surprised his teammates and his opposition.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The first 30 minutes of the match was the best for Lingard against City. He has improved recently, and boy did he need to. That goal in Kazakhstan could have been the turning point for him. City would have preferred him to be lacklustre.

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10 Marcus Rashford

I feel sorry for those that did not rate Rashford. They always seem to hide, or for some, adopt a new opinion forgetting what they previously had said. It is what you get with a semi-fickle fan base. Scored the penalty to put United ahead but could have bagged another two goals before Martial doubled United's lead.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman returned from injury and looked pretty sharp, which is needed from the player leading the line.

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Substitutes

15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Martial 74'. Got booked almost as soon as he came on, taking Raheem Sterling out. Played his part in the victory.

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Review & Ratings: Rashford and Martial sink City at the Etihad; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred and Lingard dug deep in hard-fought victory

Replaced Shaw 88'. Came on late, did what he needed. Not enough time to have an impact.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Replaced Lingard 89'. Came on at the death with stoppage time to play. Should be given more time to impress this month. Will be happy with the result.

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Goals: Nicolas Otamendi 85′; Marcus Rashford 23′ (pen), Anthony Martial 29′

Assists: Riyadh Mahrez 85′; Daniel James 29′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Young 88′); McTominay, Fred; James, Lingard (Tuanzebe 89′), Rashford; Martial (Pereira 74′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Williams; Mata; Greenwood

Bookings: Bernardo Silva 22′, Kevin De Bruyne 79′, Kyle Walker 90+4′; David De Gea 54′, Andreas Pereira 74′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial starts against City; James, Lingard and Rashford support; Tuanzebe on the bench

Manchester United have travelled to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in the Premier League this evening. After beating Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United jumped to to sixth place in the Premier League and are 11 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s City and a further 11 points short of league leaders Liverpool.

The victory over Spurs gave United something to boost their confidence after a run of three matches without a victory and two Premier League draws against Sheffield United and Aston Villa, teams which were promoted from the Championship last season. It was not a good pair of results for United. Back to winning ways though, Solskjaer and United will be boosted and should take a game to City, who are not as good as they might think.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

James, Lingard, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Young, Tuanzebe, Williams; Mata, Pereira; Greenwood

Manchester City:

Ederson;

Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Angel;

De Bruyne, Rodri, D. Silva;

B. Silva, Jesus, Sterling

Substitutes:

Bravo; Mendy, Cancelo, Otamendi; Gundogan, Mahrez, Foden

United and Manchester City have played 178 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 73 times, drawing 52 times and losing 53 times. The first match was played in 1891; a 5-1 victory for Newton Heath (United) in the FA Cup. United have not beaten City since the 2017/18 season, which incidentially came in this fixture, a 3-2 victory at the Etihad with Paul Pogba inspiring United with two quick goals coming from 2-0 down.

Last season, United lost both home and away to City; 3-1 at the Etihad and 2-0 at Old Trafford. This season, City are not as good as they once were and with problems in defence, it could be a match for United to take advantage. After beating Spurs on Wednesday evening, Solskjaer’s side should be up for the challenge of beating City. However, some will worry more about Liverpool winning the Premier League if this happens.

copyright: JW