By Danny Carrington
Last Updated: 7th January 2020
There’s no debate as to which colour Manchester has been for the last few years, but Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg will at least give the red half of the city a chance to take back some bragging rights.
However, with Manchester City winning three of the previous four Carabao Cup competitions, that chance looks a slim one.
Expect Man City to make it sweet 16
Four of the previous five games between these two sides have ended with the away team winning the match, with each side notching two wins on the road and City winning the other at home.
Add to this the fact that Pep Guardiola’s side sit 13 points above their rivals in the Premier League and that City have won their previous 15 games in the Carabao Cup, and you can understand why they are 6/10 to win the game at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
As likely as it is on paper, it’s too short to take on as a single and instead it’s worth looking for better value elsewhere by backing City to win and both teams to score at 19/10.
Just one of the previous five head-to-heads between the two sides have ended with just one team scoring and, with just one draw in their last 10 match-ups, that looks the best play of the night.
De Bruyne to play a big part
Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne is one of the Premier League’s best and if he plays well then City tend to do too, so expect the former Chelsea midfielder to play a big part in a game which will mean a lot.
The 28-year-old often holds the key to unlocking defences and boasts 12 assists in the Premier League so far this season, four more than Liverpool’s high-flying Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Creating for the likes of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus will fill him with confidence that City will get goals and the 6/4 available on De Bruyne gaining an assist is very tempting.
Those expecting De Bruyne to prove the difference, as he has so many times before, can also back him to be named Carabao Cup semi-final first leg Man of the Match at 4/1.
Back Fred to take one for the team
Fred has worked his way firmly into the manager’s plans of late, making 23 appearances for United in all competitions in a bid to add a bit of steel to the Manchester side’s midfield.
With Scott McTominay out injured for two to three months, the Brazilian’s role will be even more important here and he won’t face many greater tests than the midfield of City this season.
However, his no-nonsense approach does have its repercussions, with the 26-year-old already going in the referee’s notebook on six occasions. It’s 5/2 that Fred is booked again on Tuesday night.