Manchester United vs Manchester City preview: Team news, ones to watch, predicted line ups and how to watch
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Manchester City return to Old Trafford on Wednesday night as they face Manchester United again for the second time in just under four weeks.

It's Déjà vu for football supporters as United face City in the Carabao Cup semi final for the second season in a row. Last time Pep Guardiola's men prevailed, winning 3-2 on aggerate. This time the game will not need two legs to settle the tie, whoever win's this game will progress through to the final.

Both teams come into this game in excellent form, in the Premier League. The Red Devils are joint on 33 points with Liverpool at the top of the table, although United do have a game in hand. City currently sit fifth on 29 points, but they have two games in hand on the Premier League champions.

  • Team news

Victor Lindelof is said to have recovered from his on-going back injury and should be available for the Derby game according to Manchester United's Official Website. Phil Jones and Marcus Rojo both remain unavailable with their long-term injuries. 

Edison Cavani will again be unavailable for United as he serves his second out of three-match ban.

As for the visitors their squad remains disrupted because of the recent coronavirus outbreak within the squad. Ederson, Kyle Walker, Eric Garcia, Tommy Doyle and Gabriel Jesus all missed City's recent game against Chelsea after they contracted the virus. Walker and Jesus could return for Guardiola's men as they have now completed their isolation period following their positive test results for COVID on Christmas Day.

There were also reports that Ferran Torres - who wasn’t included in the squad at the weekend - is currently self-isolating.  Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte are also doubts through injury.

  • Ones to watch

Manchester United:

For United the obvious pick is Bruno Fernandes, another goal contribution in their last league game saw the midfielder add to his impressive stats already this season. The Portuguese player now has 11 goals and seven assists in the league this season.

Last time out in the Carabao Cup Ole Gunnar Solskjær's men beat Everton 2-0, with Anthony Martial providing the assist for the first goal and scoring the second himself. The French forward also scored an impressive goal last season against City in the league after a clever Fernandes freekick put the forward in on goal.

Manchester City:

And for City, Kevin De Bruyne is no stranger when it comes to star players. The Belgian won the Player of the Season award last campaign in the league and has continued his good form this season, providing three goals and eight assists already. The midfielder also put in a strong performance in City's 3-1 win against Chelsea at the weekend. Even though he was being played slightly out of position, the playmaker set up one of the goals and scored another himself.

Phil Foden is another one's to watch, the 20-year-old has featured in two of his clubs Carabao Cup games this season and has got himself two goals and two assists. The young midfielder is starting to really prove to his manager that he should be in their starting eleven each week and will see this derby game as a big opportunity for him to showcase his talent once more.

  • Predicted lineups

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Bailly, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Martial

Manchester City: Steffen; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Mendy; Gundogan, Fernandinho; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden; Aguero

  • How to watch

The game will kick off on Wednesday evening (06/01/2021) at 20:00 (BST).

It will be available to watch on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event. You can also access the game by purchasing a NOW TV Sky Sports day or monthly pass.

  • What the managers have said

Ole Gunnar Solskjær spoke about the derby game, whilst also touching on the importance of winning a trophy, he said: "The next game is always important but a semi-final is always very important and a chance to get to the final and to get your hands on a trophy in the next round.

"For this team it would be a very big step, getting your hands on a trophy.

"We’ve developed a lot in the last six months, or 12 months from the last Carabao Cup semi.

"It’s not just learning to win semis, we’ve also earned the right to feel we can go all the way with our performances.

"We’re confident; we go into the game in form. There are no excuses.”

He later added: "Well, you have two teams who want to get to the final.

"We’ve had four days now after Villa so, hopefully, we’ve got more fresh legs.

"It’s a difficult season, but I think we’ll benefit from the rotation we’ve made.

"I thought it was going to be important anyway this season, having fresh legs.

"You could see that with City against Chelsea, the amount of fresh legs, intensity and sharpness after the break they had.

"It showed, and that was a quality game - physically one of the more intense games that’s been in the league this season."

Pep Guardiola spoke about COVID and the current state of his team, he said: "We don't have many players, to play one, two games is okay but if sustained for a long time - and you can use just 14 or 15 players - it will be more difficult.

"But like everyone in the world, we have to adjust in our lives and our profession as much as possible.

"We don't have an alternative.

"The important thing is the guys who have COVID recover well and the others try to avoid it as much as possible."

Guardiola went on to add: "When the people say football players are special, maybe it's the truth.

"We didn't believe it before; I always thought the doctors, teachers, architects, every person is the same.

"But it looks everything is closed but our business.

"They have to be careful what they do.

"Social distance, be careful and be lucky because even doing as best as possible, there are risks."

The City manager finished by saying: "We don't have strikers.

"Gabriel (Jesus) and Ferran (Torres) have COVID, Raheem (Sterling) can play there but I prefer to play him wider instead of a central position.

"We don't have much alternative.

"Sergio (Aguero) is still not completely fit.

"We found, of course, Bernardo (Silva) can play there but we decided to play Kevin.

"The next game, maybe another situation, we will see."

VAVEL Logo