Close sidebar

Manchester United V Manchester City: Everything You Need To Know

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Manchester United Manager Jose Manager Jose Mourinho (L) shouts instructions as Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on September 10, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Manchester United meet local rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, with both managers desperate for a win.

The honeymoon is well and truly over for José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola – as less important as the ELF Cup might be in comparison to the league, this is a match that neither can afford to lose.

Mourinho has looked like a man running out of ideas in recent games, a point earned at Anfield followed up by a 4-0 demolition at the hands of his old club Chelsea. While the 4-1 Europa League win at home to Fenerbahce wasn’t quite inconsequential, his season will not be judged on Europe.

Guardiola, meanwhile, is starting down the barrel of his worst ever run as a manager – a run of ten wins followed up with five without a victory.

Despite the relatively misleading 2-1 scoreline, Man City were easily the better of the two sides when they met in the league in September, as Mourinho made the mistake of trying to contain the in-form visitors.

However, neither side is exactly brimming with confidence heading into Wednesday’s encounter – picking a winner, therefore, is anything but straightforward.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02:  Jonathan Walters of Stoke City (L) and Eric Bailly of Manchester United (R) battle for possession during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on October 2, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The Absentees:

Manchester United received a blow earlier in the week when it was confirmed that Eric Bailly is set to miss up to two months with a knee ligament injury. As per the Manchester Evening News, Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney will also play no part in the match. That same report speculated that Chris Smalling is not part of the squad, nor are Timothy Fosu-Mensah or Anthony Martial.

For Manchester City, Guardiola has claimed that he would like to have Yaya Touré involved, the situation with his agent has not changed. Kevin De Bruyne will miss the game through injury, as will right-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19:  Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City looks dejected during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Likely Starting Lineups

Hard to say with much certainty. Guardiola has promised to rotate to some degree, which as of now is only a confirmation that Willy Caballero will start in goal, but outside of that the team is likely to be a competitive one.

Man United, meanwhile, will almost certainly have to put a strong team out because he (more than Pep) cant afford for this run to go on for any longer.

At a guess:

Man United: De Gea, Valencia, Blind, Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Pogba, Rashford, Lingard, Ibrahimovic

Man City: Caballero, Maffeo, Kompany, Stones, Clichy, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Sterling, Nolito, Sané, Iheanacho

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Ander Herrera of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Head-To-Head Record

These two have faced off no less than 162 times, with Man United emerging victorious on 66 occasions, compared to City’s 46. At Old Trafford, Man United have beaten Man City 37 times, with the away side emerging victorious on 19 occasions.

In this competition, they have faced each other six times – three wins for Man City, two for Man United and one draw (in which City went through on aggregate).

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10:  Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates with Fernando and his team after the final whistle of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on September 10, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Form Guide

Not great. Neither side is coming into this game in good form, which is why it it so vital that they get the win. Between them, Manchester United and Manchester City have won just one game in their last nine combined – somebody is leaving Old Trafford tonight with a great sense of relief, while the other will only find themselves further entrenched in chaos.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20:  Jose Mourinho the manager of Manchester United greets Dick Advocaat the head coach of Fenerbahce prior to  kickoff during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Verdict

Mourinho simply can’t aford to park the bus tonight – not against Man City again and certainly not in a cup tie. He will need to be far more open and positive, but the worry is that this team isn’t strong enough to play like that.

Pogba will have to boss the midfield and keep the focus off the Eric Bailly-less defence, or else it could be another long evening for José.

If Pep gets his tactics right again, Man City will get the win.

Sign Up For The LOI Arena Newsletter

Read More About: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.