Manchester United vs Manchester CityEFL Cup, KO: 20:00 Jan 7, 2020, Old Trafford
THE last derby showdown was the highlight of Manchester United's season and they now have home advantage as they look to take a big step towards the EFL Cup Final.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's men were 9/1 outsiders heading to the Etihad last month but defied the odds to claim an impressive 2-1 victory.
Manchester City just couldn't cope with the pace of United's front three, a threat flagged up by our man Slips Tips, and the victory could have been even more emphatic.
But Man City have won seven of their eight games since then and their sole defeat came at Wolves, where Pep Guardiola's men had to play almost the whole match with 10 men.
And with United drawing a blank in three of their last five games, the momentum could be with a City side who have won the EFL Cup for the last two years.
How the bookies view it
Despite having home advantage for the first leg of this semi-final, Man Utd are the outsiders again, at a best 21/5 with BetVictor, a price that may attract a few punters after the last derby.
City are 4/6 with most firms while the stalemate is 7/2 with Bet365. I can see this being either a draw or a win for Guardiola's side as they are far superior in midfield.
United's trio of Fred, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic was outclassed by Arsenal's engine room on New Year's Day and Guardiola (below) has even more quality in his midfield.
But City still look vulnerable at the back, with even League Two Port Vale breaching their defence at the Etihad in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Tom Pope revised his claim that he would net 40 goals a season against any defence with John Stones in it, upping that estimate to 50 after scoring for Vale in their 4-1 defeat.
Recent head to head
Manchester United haven't won at home in the derby since these teams last faced off in the League Cup, when Juan Mata's goal was enough to seal a 1-0 victory in 2016 (below), although they have triumphed twice at the Etihad.
City's last trip to Old Trafford ended in a 2-0 Premier League win last season, with Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane on target.
Players to watch
Both sides rested some big guns for their FA Cup ties at the weekend so expect them to return here, although Anthony Martial and Lingard remain doubts through illness for United.
With Sergio Aguero starting against Port Vale, I fancied Gabriel Jesus to get the nod upfront for Manchester City and he appealed at 7/5 with Sportingbet for anytime scorer. But Guardiola has started with both the Brazilian and Aguero on the bench so Raheem Sterling may be City's best bet for a goal at 6/4 with Ladbrokes.
Kevin De Bruyne is the man likely to supply the ammunition for Guardiola's side and the Belgian is a tempting 11/5 with Ladbrokes for an assist.
If Martial isn't 100 per cent then young Mason Greenwood might get another start for Manchester United. The kid is a natural finisher so the 16/5 Ladbrokes offer on him scoring from inside the box appeals.
Anything else catch the eye?
For a long-odds option, Riyad Mahrez is 9/1 with Ladbrokes to score from outside the box and that may be worth a flutter given his long-range shooting skills.
In the cards market, United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka catches the eye at 11/4 with Betfred, given he will probably be up against the tricky Sterling.
This EFL Cup match between Manchester United and Manchester City will be played on Jan 7, 2020 and kick off at 20:00