Nemanja Matic is likely to miss out while Eric Bailly is in contention to start for Manchester United in their Carabao Cup contest against Manchester City.
Manchester United will be looking to overturn a two-goal deficit when they take on neighbours Manchester City in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. And the Red Devils have been hit with a fresh injury concern as midfielder Nemanja Matic is a doubt for the game.
Matic picked up a knock in Manchester United’s FA Cup contest against Tranmere Rovers this past weekend and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed that the Serb might be unavailable for the derby. Speaking in his pre-match presser, the Manchester United boss said, “Nemanja had to come off, let’s see how he is before tomorrow.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 28, 2020
“Nemanja felt something and to make sure we give him the best possible chance for tomorrow night we took him off [at Tranmere]. I think he should be all right but let’s see today in training.” Apart from Matic, the Red Devils continue to be without Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay, while Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe also remain sidelined.
Having set his team up in a three-man backline against Tranmere, Solskjaer is likely to opt for similar tactics on Wednesday against Manchester City, but there will be changes in personnel across the pitch. Starting in goal, David de Gea is likely to come back into the starting XI despite Sergio Romero’s impressive performance in cup ties.
Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, who scored his first goal for Manchester United at the weekend, should keep their places in the back-three. But, Phil Jones is likely to drop out, having endured a difficult time against City in the first leg. In his stead, Eric Bailly could make his long-awaited return from injury on Wednesday to start his first game of the 2019-20 season.
There will be alterations in the wing-back slots as well, as Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams are expected to reclaim their places from Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw, who started against Tranmere. Fred was left out of the starting XI for the FA Cup clash, but ought to return in the middle of the park here, partnering Andreas Pereira, as Matic remains a doubt for the game.
There are unlikely to be any changes in the final third for Manchester United though, as Jesse Lingard is likely to continue as the attacking midfielder after scoring in the last game. Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood will form the two-pronged strike force in Rashford’s absence, with Daniel James on the bench once again.
Manchester United Predicted XI: de Gea; Lindelof, Bailly, Maguire; Wan-Bissaka, Pereira, Fred, Williams; Lingard; Greenwood, Martial