Manchester United

The Manchester United lineup that should start against Manchester City

Mitchell Wilks
Manchester United host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup
Manchester United host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup / Pool/Getty Images
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Manchester United host Manchester City in the semi final of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, in a repeat of last year's same fixture.

City went to Old Trafford and defeated United in last season's fixture and advanced to the final despite losing the second leg at the Etihad, but fate will be decided this season over just the one game.

Pep Guardiola's side have held the cup since 2018, having successfully defended it in every year since. United, meanwhile, lost three semi finals last season and are still working to fix a patchy home record this season, but did win against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Friday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also holds an impressive record over Guardiola, winning three of their six meetings.

With a place in the final at Wembley at stake, here's how the Red Devils should line up.


1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Bailly celebrates following United's weekend victory
Bailly celebrates following United's weekend victory / Pool/Getty Images

Dean Henderson (GK) - Henderson will return to the XI in his biggest test in a United shirt yet. A good performance against City could do wonders for his stock.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) - Lack of a genuine rotation option means Wan-Bissaka keeps his place, but United can always rely on the Englishman to put in an impressive defensive shift.

Eric Bailly (CB) - It's hard to dispute that - when fit - Eric Bailly might just be United's best centre back. He's proven to be a more than capable partner to Harry Maguire.

Harry Maguire (CB) - Maguire played more minutes than any other player in Europe's top five leagues throughout 2020 and will likely continue in a similar vein in 2021.

Alex Telles (LB) - Luke Shaw has been playing some of his best football this season. The threat of Alex Telles pushing him for his place has no doubt contributed; Telles starts in the cup to provide an attacking outlet for United.


2. Midfielders

Fred (DM) - The Brazilian is the man for big games these days at United and offers much more mobility than Nemanja Matic.

Scott McTominay (DM) - McTominay completes the greatest Brazilian/Scottish double pivot football has ever seen.

Mason Greenwood (RM) - Despite Paul Pogba finding form once again, Mason Greenwood offers United a more clinical finish on the counter attack and returns to the XI from the right flank.

Bruno Fernandes (AM) - United's Player of the Month for December is simply too good to rest. His reaction to being subbed late on against Villa also suggests he doesn't want to be rested anytime soon. Fernandes starts.

Marcus Rashford (LM) - Rashford does his best work coming in from the left flank and, like Greenwood, will be vital to any potential United win from the counter attack.


3. Forward

Martial was among the goals against Aston Villa on Friday
Martial was among the goals against Aston Villa on Friday / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Anthony Martial (ST) - Three goals and four assists in his last six games is exactly what Martial needed to kickstart an uninspiring start to the season. With Edinson Cavani suspended, he keeps his place in the side.


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