Manchester City

The Man City lineup that should start against Man Utd in Carabao Cup semi final

Jamie Spencer
Man City are looking to take an aggregate lead against Man Utd
Man City are looking to take an aggregate lead against Man Utd / Michael Regan/Getty Images
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Manchester City are one game away from reaching a sixth Carabao Cup final in eight seasons, but first must navigate a trip to local rivals Manchester United.

The clubs met at this stage of the competition last season, with City prevailing 3-2 on aggregate after effectively putting the tie to bed in the first half of the first leg at Old Trafford.

Old Trafford is once more the stage for the only leg on Wednesday night and Pep Guardiola's team will be hoping to book their trip to Wembley in April with victory.

Here's a look at the starting XI the City boss could pick...


1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Zack Steffen is expected to start in goal again
Zack Steffen is expected to start in goal again / Pool/Getty Images

Zack Steffen (GK) – Ederson remains out due to coronavirus isolation, but even if he were available the likelihood is that Steffen would have started this one. The American had a nervy start to his Premier League debut, picking up a back pass, but has played every previous Carabao Cup round.

Joao Cancelo (RB) – Kyle Walker’s enforced absence reduces the competition for Cancelo and makes it probable the Portuguese full-back keeps his place.

Ruben Dias (CB) – Dias enjoyed a stellar performance against Chelsea last time out and has pretty much been an automatic pick in every competition since he arrived at the club.

John Stones (CB) – Nathan Ake is out of favour and Aymeric Laporte is an injury doubt, making it likely that Stones will retain his place as a starter.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – Guardiola has the option to bring Benjamin Mendy into the side at left-back, but the inconsistent Frenchman is out of favour and isn’t expected to leapfrog Zinchenko.

2. Midfielders

It may be up to Fernandinho to shadow Bruno Fernandes
It may be up to Fernandinho to shadow Bruno Fernandes / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Rodri (CM) – Arguably the first name in the team-sheet and has started 22 of City’s 24 games in all competitions so far this season. It seems impossible that won’t continue here.

Fernandinho (CM) – Could return to the team in place of Ilkay Gundogan in a bid to shadow Bruno Fernandes and suppress United’s most obvious source of creativity and threat.

Kevin De Bruyne (AM) – De Bruyne pulled the strings for City from an unusually advanced role last time out and will again be crucial here if the club is to go on and lift the trophy again. Everything will come through him.

3. Forwards

Phil Foden impressed on his last appearance against Chelsea
Phil Foden impressed on his last appearance against Chelsea / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Riyad Mahrez (RW) – Rotation is going to be important because of the fixture congestion this month and that could open the door for Mahrez to return to the XI after mostly being a substitute for the last few weeks. He scored in the quarter-final against Arsenal.

Sergio Aguero (ST) – City’s all-time leading scorer has been eased back in with a number of substitute appearances recently after overcoming his injury problems. He has a good overall record against United, although has only scored once against them since 2015.

Phil Foden (LW) – The local youngster made the most of an opportunity to start against Chelsea on Sunday and has two goals and two assists to his name in this competition already.


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