Game: Manchester City vs Manchester United
Competition: League Cup Semi Final Leg 1
Kickoff: January 19, 19:45 GMT
Venue: City of Manchester Stadium
Roberto Mancini’s first Manchester derby couldn’t have come at a more crucial stage in City’s season. Manchester City host rivals Manchester United in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final wanting to end a 33 year trophy drought. City won the League Cup last in 1976. If City manage to pip United over two legs, City fans will quite literally be “over the blue moon” and a new set of heroes will be created overnight.
Manchester City – recent form
v. Everton (Loss 0-2)
v. Blackburn (Win 4-1) Tevez*3,Richards
v. Middlesbrough (Win 1-0) Benjani
v. Wolves (Win 3-0) Tevez*2,Garrido
Mancini has managed to win his first three games keeping a clean sheet in each of them.But the loss against Everton at Goodison has exposed the frailties of the City side. City are again short in numbers at the back. Joeleon Lescott and Wayne Bridge are still unfit. Toure is away at CAN. Ireland is nursing a hamstring strain. Roque Santa Cruz and Martin Petrov limped off against Everton. Vieira is still not fit enough to take to the field. Robinho might not feature at all after he stormed off into the dressing room after being substituted against Everton.
Manchester United – recent form
v. Burnley (Win 3-0) Berbatov,Rooney,Diouf
v. Birmingham (Draw 1-1) Dann OG
v. Leeds (Loss 0-1)
v. Wigan (Win 5-0) Rooney, Carrick, Rafael, Berbatov, Valencia
Sir Alex was fuming after his side’s defeat at the hands of Leeds in the FA Cup and has threatened to axe most of his players who started the FA Cup tie. Sir Alex has suggested that there will be a youthful look to his squad. There could be starts for Wellbeck, Gibson, Park, Tosic, Valencia, Carrick, de Laet and Michael Owen who have all featured extensively in the League Cup. Frederico Macheda, who has been instrumental is United’s League Cup run thus far misses out due to injury.
Match Verdict: I suspect that this will be a very cagey affair. I’ll go with a 1-1 draw with United getting that all important away goal.
City 1-1 United (Tevez//Berbatov)