Manchester United face rivals Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final at Old Trafford in confident mood.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches – winning eight – which sees them sit level on points with leaders Liverpool but with a game in hand.
However, to reach the League Cup final for the first time since lifting the trophy in 2017 they will have to beat a side which has won it in each of the three seasons since.
Pep Guardiola’s side, who are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions, will also remember last year’s two-legged semi-final in which they won 3-2 on aggregate after a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils will hope that home advantage in this season’s one-legged tie will not have the same result.
With a chance to secure a spot in the Wembley final against Tottenham Hotspur in April, Solskjaer will go with his strongest side for this Manchester derby.
But which players will the Norwegian boss select to try and pull off a big win at Old Trafford..?
Here we predict the Manchester United starting XI to take on Man City…
Despite having played in the three previous EFL Cup rounds, Dean Henderson looks set to lose his place in this competition in favour of first-choice David De Gea. The Spaniard has been Solskjaer’s go-to in the biggest matches this term and is set for his 425th United game on Wednesday.
Victor Lindelof is expected to be available after nursing a back injury but Eric Bailly, who has excelled since returning to the side, should keep his place alongside Harry Maguire in the heart of the defence. Luke Shaw and Alex Telles have often rotated at left-back, but we’re expecting Solskjaer to stick with the Englishman for this one due to his experience of playing against City. At right-back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka will continue after recently returning from injury.
Solskjaer has rotated with his midfield on a regular basis this season and could do so once again on Wednesday. Nemanja Matic impressed in the last round at Everton and could come in for Scott McTominay to play with Fred as the midfield two. One thing that won’t be in doubt though is that Bruno Fernandes, who has 16 goals and eight assists this term, will again be aiming to be the star in his number 10 role.
You may have noticed that we didn’t mention Paul Pogba in the midfield section. Despite that, we do feel that the Frenchman could start but in the same advanced left sided role he performed well in against Villa. With Edinson Cavani serving the first of a three-game ban, Anthony Martial, who scored the second in the quarter-final win at Everton, will lead the line. That leaves Marcus Rashford on the right side of attack with Mason Greenwood and Dan James set for the bench.
Predicted Manchester United XI vs Man City: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Fred, Fernandes; Pogba, Rashford, Martial.