Manchester City head to the red side of the city to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening.
The winner of this fixture will face off against either Tottenham Hotspur or Brentford in the final at Wembley in a couple of months time. Manchester City are working with a depleted squad after a coronavirus outbreak at the club resulted in six players testing positive for the virus. However, the former league champions outclassed Chelsea in the league at the weekend, with a clinical performance highlighting the quality of players in their extended squad.
The Citizens will be coming up against a confident United side that has picked up 26 points from the last 30 on offer in the league and who now sit second in the league table.
Here’s how Manchester City could lineup against Manchester United in the Manchester derby:
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen.
With first choice keeper Ederson unavailable after testing positive for Coivd-19, Zack Steffan is expected to start again tomorrow. The 25-year-old narrowly missed out on a clean sheet against Chelsea at the weekend after conceding a late goal in injury time.
Defence: Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Mendy.
With centre-backs Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte both a doubt for the fixture, Guardiola’s defensive options are severely limited and the Spaniard is expected to field the same defensive pairing of Stones and Dias that started against Chelsea. Kyle Walker has served 10 days of self-isolation but has not yet tested negative for the virus meaning Cancelo will start at right-back. Pep is expected to start Benjamin Mendy at left-back despite the Frenchman’s breaking rules during New Year.
Midfield: Fernandinho, Rodri.
Gundogan is a doubt for this game after picking up a knock in the second half against Chelsea. Rodri and Fernandinho are expected to be fielded as a double pivot to stop the advancing Manchester United midfielders.
Attack: De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden.
With City playing without a recognized striker against Chelsea, De Bruyne acted almost like a false striker and proved to be devastating, scoring the third goal in the first half that was totally dominated by City.
Phil Foden was his exceptional best against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, scoring one goal and assisting once in a superb performance by the youngster.
Sergio Aguero came off the bench in that match and it seems that Guardiola is still wary to start the Argentine and is expected to field a similar attack against Manchester United.
Riyad Mahrez was rested on the weekend as Bernando Silva started over the Algerian and the former Leicester winger will be raring to go up against the United defence tomorrow.
Man City predicted XI: Steffen; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Fernandinho, Rodri; De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden.