Big Game Focus: Manchester United v Manchester City

The biggest fixture in this season’s EFL Cup takes place tonight at Old Trafford, where Manchester United host their rivals Manchester City in the first leg of their semi-final tie. You can bet on the game here.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer proved he possesses the tools to defeat Pep Guardiola last month as United won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. However, the Red Devils have not beaten their rivals on home turf since 2016, when Juan Mata’s goal was enough to eliminate Guardiola’s side from the EFL Cup. They are now unbeaten in their last 13 home games, stretching back to a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in August.

That defeat at Old Trafford was the last one that City have tasted in this competition. Champions in the last two seasons, the Citizens are looking to become the first side to ever lift the trophy in three successive seasons. With the Premier League title now all but out of reach, glory in this competition would at least provide mild success for Guardiola.

Who will be ahead when these sides meet for the second leg in three weeks?

Betting tips

Manchester City’s winning run in the EFL Cup means they have now gone 15 games without defeat, winning 11 of those matches inside 90 minutes. The visitors have won eight of their last ten games and have beaten United in three of their last five competitive meetings. Get odds of 1.65 on a Manchester City Win.

United have been on the scoresheet in their last 13 games in the EFL Cup; however, they have also conceded in nine of those games. Their 0-0 draw at Wolves on Saturday saw their first clean sheet in five games. City have kept just one clean sheet in their last six games, while Both Teams to Score has been a winning bet in 13 of their last 15 games. Back Both Teams to Score at odds of 1.60.

Four of the last five Manchester derbies have seen Over 2.5 Goals, including their meeting in the Premier League last month. There have been at least three goals in four of the Red Devils’ last five home games, while the same has occurred in each of City’s last seven away games. Over 2.5 Goals tonight is available at odds of 1.60.

Team news

Having been omitted from the starting line-up for the draw at Wolves, Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are likely to reclaim their places in the starting line-up. Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire face late fitness tests.

Despite regular goalkeeper Ederson having served a three-game suspension, Claudio Bravo should resume his role as City’s number one in the EFL Cup. Sergio Aguero made a long awaited return from injury at the weekend, but an in-form Gabriel Jesus could be preferred in attack.

Possible line-ups

Man United: Romero, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams, Fred, Matic, Greenwood, Lingard, Rashford, Martial

Man City: Bravo, Cancelo, Garcia, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Foden, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Jesus, Sterling