Predicted XI

Coronavirus causing selection problems - how Man City and Man United could line up in Carabao Cup

City's plans continue to be disrupted by positive cases within the squad, while Ole Solskjaer has many options available

 
9:00am on Tuesday 5th January 2021
By
Paul Macdonald

Manchester City have more problems than city rivals United as they are set to face off in their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

United have concerns over Victor Lindelof and Edinson Cavani is serving the second of a three-game ban, but the rest of the squad are available.

Eric Bailly has been deputising for Lindelof of late and he will likely keep his place even if the Swede is available or not.

Dean Henderson has been the regular in goal in this competition and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a decision to make to retain him or reinstate David De Gea for this key clash.

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Elsewhere, Luke Shaw could come in at left-back, while it's anyone's guess which mix of midfielders Solskjaer will opt for in the centre, with Scott McTominay, Fred, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic all available.

For City, coronavirus issues didn't stop them from thumping Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but Ederson, Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus, Eric Garcia and Ferran Torres will likely still all be self-isolating and unavailable for this match, while Benjamin Mendy's breach of protocols could see him left out again.

With a relatively straightforward FA Cup tie against Birmingham City to come, Pep Guardiola will likely go with his strongest available team here then rest if necessary at the weekend.

One big decision will be whether to recall Sergio Aguero to the starting XI. Aguero has been on the periphery of a full return for some time and with Kevin De Bruyne playing as a false 9 against Chelsea, Pep may revert to a more conventional formation.

Manchester United and Manchester City predicted line-ups

Man Utd vs Man City - Football tactics and formations

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