Manchester City vs Manchester UnitedEFL Cup, KO: 19:45 Jan 29, 2020, Etihad Stadium
MANCHESTER City have one foot in the Carabao Cup Final and they will be looking to confirm their place in next months Wembley showpiece when they welcome old foes Manchester United to the Etihad on Wednesday night.
Pep Guardiola's star-studded side shredded their fierce rivals when racing into a 3-0 lead after just 38 minutes during the first-leg at Old Trafford earlier this month.
The Red Devils managed to reduce the arrears by one, giving them a glimmer of hope in the second-leg, however, it will take a herculean effort from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to secure a place in the EFL Cup Final.
Indeed, United defied the odds when claiming a 2-1 victory at this venue last month, however, that Etihad ecstasy will now feel like an eternity ago for both under-fire Solskjaer and the Old Trafford faithful respectively.
Man United were booed off the park last Wednesday night when losing 2-0 in their own backyard to Burnley and that perhaps explains Solskjaer fielded a strong side during Sunday's 6-0 FA Cup fourth round triumph at Tranmere.
City also made light work of lower league opposition when cruising to a 4-0 win over Fulham at the weekend and having all but surrendered their Premier League crown, cup competitions now represent the Sky Blues best shot at silverware this season.
The Betting Odds
At the halfway stage of this two-legged semi-final, the contest would appear to be over and that is reflected in the 1/3 (UniBet) on offer for a home win on Wednesday night.
The Betting Angles
Although I fully expect the Blue Moon to clinch a place in the Carabao Cup Final, I'm going to revisit a bet that landed for me in the last Manchester derby by backing United to make the net bulge at 8/11 (Bet 365)
Granted, the Red Devils season has been riddled with inconsistency, however, Solskjaer does appear to have a knack for formulating a plan to thwart the heavyweights of the division – Liverpool are the only top-eight team that United have lost to on league duty this term.
What's more, nine of the last 11 visiting sides to Man City's manor have got on the scoresheet – a sequence which includes a Man United double during last months derby.
An Anthony Martial goal proved to be the difference in December's Etihad encounter and the 10/11 (PaddyPower) for Martial to have at least one shot on target in this tussle takes appeal.
Martial has benefited from a more central role this season and having netted a quietly impressive 11 goals in 24 appearances thus far, the French forward looks overpriced to have at least one shot on target when running at a shaky City rearguard.
However, United's unpredictability can be attributed to their sustained bout of travel sickness and that does not bode well ahead of derby against the deadliest attack in England's top division.
Furthermore, serial trophy winner Guardiola looks set to unleash a full strength City side on United and although there is little value in getting the Citizens on side, I am attracted to the 5/6 that UniBet are offering for both teams to score on Wednesday night – a bet that has clicked in 18 of City's last 22 outings across all competitions.
This EFL Cup match between Manchester City and Manchester United will be played on Jan 29, 2020 and kick off at 19:45