Man City roster set to start against Man Utd in Carabao Cup semi-final

Manchester City are one game away from the sixth Carabao Cup final in eight seasons, but must first sail to local rivals Manchester United.

The clubs met at this point in the competition last season, with City winning 3-2 on aggregate after effectively putting the tie to bed in the first half of the first leg at Old Trafford.

Old Trafford is again Wednesday night’s single stage stop and Pep Guardiola’s side are hoping to book their trip to Wembley in April with the win.

Here is a preview of the starting XI that the boss of the city could choose …

Zack Steffen
Zack Steffen set to return in goal | Pool / Getty Images

Zack Steffen (GK) – Ederson remains out due to the coronavirus isolation, but even if he was available, it is likely that Steffen would have started this one. The American got off to a nervous start to his Premier League debut, recovering a back pass, but has played all previous rounds of the Carabao Cup.

Joao Cancelo (RB) – Kyle Walker’s enforced absence reduces competition for Cancelo and makes it likely that the Portuguese full-back will retain his place.

Ruben Dias (CB) – Dias had an outstanding performance against Chelsea the last time around and has been pretty much an automatic pick in every competition since joining the club.

John Stones (CB) – Nathan Ake is in disgrace and Aymeric Laporte is in injury doubt, making it likely that Stones will retain his place as a starter.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – Guardiola has the option of bringing Benjamin Mendy to the side at left-back, but the inconsistent Frenchman is out of favor and is unlikely to overtake Zinchenko.

It may be Fernandinho to follow Bruno Fernandes | Quality sports images / Getty Images

Rodri (CM) – Arguably the first name on the roster and has started 22 of City’s 24 games in all competitions so far this season. It seems impossible that this will not continue here.

Fernandinho (CM) – Could return to the squad in place of Ilkay Gundogan with the aim of following Bruno Fernandes and removing United’s most obvious source of creativity and threat.

Kevin De Bruyne (AM) – De Bruyne pulled the strings for City from an unusually advanced role last time around and will again be crucial here if the club are to continue and lift the trophy again. Everything will come through him.

Phil foden
Phil Foden impressed in his last appearance against Chelsea | Visionhaus / Getty Images

Riyad Mahrez (RW) – The rotation is going to be significant due to aircraft congestion this month and that could open the door for Mahrez to return to the XI after being mostly a replacement in recent weeks. He scored in the quarter-finals against Arsenal.

Sergio Aguero (ST) – City’s all-time top scorer has been relaxed with a number of substitute appearances recently after overcoming his injury issues. He has a good overall record against United, although he has only scored once against them since 2015.

Phil Foden (LW) – The local youngster took the opportunity to start against Chelsea on Sunday and already has two goals and two assists in this competition.

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