Manchester City vs. Manchester United Predictions – EFL Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Bitter rivals Manchester City and Manchester United go head-to-head again on Wednesday as the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tie takes place at the Etihad Stadium.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team is left with a huge task if United is to stop City reaching their third successive Carabao Cup final. Man City claimed a conclusive 3-1 win in the first leg, while Man Utd offered very little resistance.
Nevertheless, I will assess the bookies’ odds to find some value when it comes to betting on the second leg of Manchester City vs. Manchester United. I will then share my predictions and pick for this EFL Cup semi-final 2nd leg clash.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United Second Leg Betting Odds
Here are the Betway sportsbook’s main markets for the second leg of this Carabao Cup tie.
Man City is currently streaks ahead of their cross-city enemy, so it’s hard to look past the home side in this matchup.
The huge price of 21.00 for Man Utd to reach the final may tempt some people, but to say that’s a long shot would be a massive understatement.
What Happened in the First Leg?
I’m not exaggerating when I say Man City totally outclassed Man Utd in the first leg. Pep Guardiola’s side silenced Old Trafford with three first-half goals, and City could’ve scored many more.
Bernardo Silva opened the scoring with a stunning long-range strike. United’s defense allowed the Portuguese time on the edge of the penalty area, and Silva punished them by firing a curling shot into the top corner.
Silva then grabbed an assist as he set up Riyad Mahrez to make it 2-0 with just over 30 minutes on the clock. The home side was exposed at the back once again, allowing Mahrez to take the ball past Man Utd goalkeeper David de Gea and score into an empty goal.
Man City was running riot at this stage, and it wasn’t long before Guardiola’s men added a third. Kevin De Bruyne’s shot was saved by de Gea, but the ball rebounded off United midfielder Andreas Pereira and ended up in the back of the net.
Man Utd’s poor first-half display saw the home team booed off the pitch at half time. But after the break, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side showed some resolve.
City understandably sat back with their three-goal advantage, enabling United to enjoy some lengthy spells of possession. Still, the home side rarely troubled City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Marcus Rashford scored a late consolation goal, which has given Man Utd a glimmer of hope for the second leg. But Man City’s overwhelming superiority in the first leg cannot be overstated.
What’s Happened Since the First Leg?
Both Man City and Man Utd have been busy since the first leg. Let’s see how both teams have fared over the past three weeks and gauge the current form of the two sides.
Man City is unbeaten in four games since the first leg, winning three and drawing one. A Sergio Aguero hat-trick helped the Cityzens hammer Aston Villa 6-1. Riyad Mahrez also bagged a brace at Villa Park, while Gabriel Jesus completed the scoring.
However, City was held to a 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace in their next game. The Eagles went ahead before a quickfire Aguero double turned the game on its head. But a Fernandinho own goal leveled the score on 90 minutes.
Guardiola would’ve been extremely frustrated that his side wasn’t able to claim consecutive victories and close the gap on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table. But Man City soon bounced back by securing a hard-fought win at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield United made life difficult for City, and the only goal of the game came in the 73rd minute. Aguero came to the rescue yet again to claim another three points for his team.
In their previous outing, Man City thrashed Championship club Fulham 4-0 to book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup. The reigning Premier League champion restricted the second-tier side to just one shot, while Gabriel Jesus netted twice to seal an ultra-comfortable win.
City has been playing some seriously attractive soccer in recent weeks, so the players will be full of confidence heading into the second leg.
With three wins and two defeats to their name since the first leg, it’s fair to say that Man Utd has picked up a mixed bag of results over the past couple of weeks.
Solskjaer’s men cruised to a 4-0 victory over EPL struggler Norwich City. Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood put the finishing touches to a convincing performance by the Red Devils after Marcus Rashford had fired United into a two-goal lead.
Man Utd then crept past Wolves in the FA Cup thanks to a Juan Mata goal. But back-to-back defeats in the Premier League swiftly put an end to the team’s promising run.
While United can probably be excused for losing to Liverpool at Anfield, the 2-0 defeat to Burnley at Old Trafford three days later was extremely disappointing. Solskjaer’s side failed to convert any of their 24 shots against Burnley, and the team looked lifeless despite enjoying almost three quarters of the possession.
Two defeats in quick succession mean Man Utd’s top-four hopes have been dealt a big blow. The club now sits fifth in the Premier League table, six points behind fourth-place Chelsea.
United returned to winning ways on Sunday with a thumping 6-0 win against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup. But with Tranmere struggling at the bottom of the third tier, you can’t really read too much into that result.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a number of injury concerns, while Pep Guardiola will be able to field a full-strength lineup in the second leg. Will Man Utd miss their high-profile absentees? Here is the team news.
Manchester City News
Pep Guardiola made eight changes to his starting lineup for the club’s previous game. Key trio Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, and Kevin De Bruyne were all left on the bench, so I expect all three of them to start on Wednesday.
Aguero has netted seven goals in his last four league appearances, while Gabriel Jesus scored twice last time out. Guardiola generally only uses one striker. But whoever he chooses to lead the line in the second leg, City is guaranteed to be lethal in attack.
Following a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Aymeric Laporte returned to action in Man City’s win over Sheff Utd. The team’s defensive problems have been well documented this season, but City’s backline is now much stronger with Laporte back in the frame.
Manchester United News
The loss of top goalscorer Marcus Rashford is nothing short of a disaster for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Rashford has scored almost half of United’s league goals this season, but his injury is set to keep him out of the team for a couple months.
Meanwhile, injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay have left Man Utd short on numbers in midfield. Having said that, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, and Andreas Pereira all played well in the win over Tranmere, so the manager might be tempted to stick with that trio for the second leg.
Solskjaer has experimented with three center-backs in recent games, allowing Harry Maguire to bring the ball out of defense and instigate attacks. Maguire notched up a goal and an assist in the previous game, but Man City won’t allow him to carry the ball freely at the Etihad.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United Second Leg Prediction and Pick
In my opinion, the damage has already been done. Following City’s 3-1 victory in the first leg, United has a mountain to climb in order reach the final.
Man City may be out of Premier League title contention, but Pep Guardiola’s side has no intention of giving up the EFL Cup this season. After securing the domestic treble last term, the Cityzens will be desperate to retain their Carabao Cup crown this year.
Guardiola’s men are ruthless in cup competitions. While many top-flight clubs surrender the EFL Cup to focus on their league commitments, City’s deep squad allows them to compete on all fronts.
On the other hand, Man Utd is not in a good place right now. The club is going through a transitional period, and performances on the pitch have gone downhill as a result.
By United’s high standards, their current team is weak. But without their top scorer, I don’t think Man Utd stands a chance of getting anything from the second leg. Rashford has been a shining light for United this season, and he’ll be sorely missed on Wednesday.
City has claimed four of the previous six EFL Cup trophies, and the club is now aiming to win three in a row under Guardiola. I can see Man City beating their rival once again to reach yet another Carabao Cup final.
1.37 may not be the most attractive price. But after taking everything into consideration, I believe the Man City win is the best bet for this matchup.
Manchester City to Win1.37
Admittedly, I was tempted by the both teams to score market. 1.80 is a relatively high price, especially when you consider that this fixture often produces plenty of goals.
However, I simply can’t make a case for Solskjaer’s side scoring in the second leg. Man Utd is without Rashford, while Man City has kept clean sheets in both of their previous two games.
If you’re wagering on the game, make sure you’re placing your bets with the top-rated online sports betting sites.