Manchester United v Manchester City EFL Cup semi-final
Manchester United host their rivals Manchester City in the EFL Carabao Cup first leg of their semi-final clash tonight. They two teams met in the league in early December, a game which United dominated and came out victorious 1-2. This match will be different though, as it is a semi-final of a cup.
These two Manchester teams have won the last four editions of the Carabao Cup with City winning three out of them, and United winning one while Mourinho was in charge in 2017. Now the two teams will be fighting it out so that they can make it to Wembley and continue the Manchester dominance in the competition.
Solskjaer will be eager to win this match as it represents a great opportunity for his side to win a trophy. His team has been in inconsistent form recently with the season proving to be a bit of a disappointment for the club. After the City win, it was thought that they could kick on and with the poor form of Chelsea it looked like they could even get a closer grip on the top four. However, they unexpectedly lost to Watford during the congested fixture period and also lost to Arsenal on the 1st of January which has left them still five points adrift of Chelsea. They need to gain more consistency and tonight could be the perfect time to start a good run of form.
Guardiola, on the other hand, is a League Cup expert. His team looks very unlikely to win a third Premier League title in a row as Liverpool are 14 points ahead of them with a game in hand but could make it a third EFL Cup in a row. The only EFL Cup match he has lost so far was in his first year in charge against United. Guardiola will know that if he can beat United then he will be confident of beating either Everton or Aston Villa in the final.
In the league match last month, United effectively used their counter-attacking abilities to exploit City’s weakened defence but this time Guardiola will not make the same mistake. The match has all the qualities to be an entertaining fixture but if City come away with a comprehensive away win then the tie could be over before the second leg even begins.