Manchester United v Manchester City: 3 best bets for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash

Neither can afford to lose, tbh.


Just as it was at the beginning of the last decade, Manchester United and Manchester City are preparing for a Manchester derby in the League Cup semi-final.

It has been a rollercoaster of a decade for both clubs since Wayne Rooney headed an injury-time winner to sink the noisy neighbours and send United to a League Cup final against Aston Villa.

For United fans, they will back on the team that ousted City and wonder how it all went wrong so quickly. For City, they will surely still be pinching themselves after winning four league titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups over the last 10 years.

It’s fair to say that the same fixture 10 years on has a very different feel, but there is still money to be made with our best bets for Tuesday’s first leg.

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The big question surrounding this clash is whether Pep Guardiola will have learned his lesson from the opening 30 minutes in the 1-2 Etihad defeat a month ago.

On that occasion, United hit City on the counter time after time and could have been out of sight by the time Guardiola finally adjusted to it. It would be staggering if City are caught out by the same one dimensional tactic again on Tuesday night and Guardiola will surely have paid specific attention to United’s pace on the break.

Both sides fielded weakened sides in their respective FA Cup ties on Saturday, so both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Guardiola are likely to go with their strongest XIs on Tuesday.

While City will have certainly learned from their defeat to United, they still don’t look at the races; limping over the line against Everton and Sheffield United after throwing a two-goal lead away to lose at Wolves.

City are vulnerable at the back and if Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are on song, they will cause them problems.

Selection: The draw @ 10/3

Kevin De Bruyne

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Under 2.5 goals @ 6/5

Being a two-legged affair, the game at Old Trafford  is bound to be a tense and cagey affair. Both sides need a big win after less than impressive recent league displays over Christmas, so both will be likely be on edge.

United will look to sit in and hit City on the counter whenever possible, restricting the space in behind them in the process. City, meanwhile, will look to deal with the threat of United on the break and may have to sacrifice some of their attacking threat in order to do so.

If City do successfully nullify United’s pace on the break, it will go a long way towards containing the Red Devils. As seen countless times this season, United look incredibly short of ideas up front when not afford the option to break at pace.

The two bitter rivals could cancel each other out on Tuesday and it could keep the score down. Three of the last five Manchester derbies at Old Trafford have also seen two goals or less. The two that didn’t – in 2016 and 2017 – would have done, only for defensive mishaps from Claudio Bravo and Romelu Lukaku.

Selection: Under 2.5 goals at 6/5

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Marcus Rashford has made something of a habit of scoring against City since first appearing in the Manchester derby in March 2016.

Rashford scored the only goal in that game and has since scored on two further occasions against the blue half of Manchester. The 22-year-old is enjoying his most prolific season in front of goal and has scored six goals in his last nine games. He has also scored three goals in his last two games in the League Cup and stands a good chance of finishing as the competition’s top scorer.

Usually presented with a number of decent goal-scoring opportunities in every game he plays, Rashford is good value to make it two goals in two games against United’s neighbours.

Selection: Marcus Rashford to score anytime @ 9/5

*Prices correct at time of publishing 

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What do you think?