City head to Old Trafford knowing that a draw or better will mean a return to Wembley after an absence of 28 years.
The blues go into the game with a slender 2-1 advantage given to them last week by former United striker Carlos Tevez and the Argentine is expected to feature up front again after being rested for Sunday’s FA Cup victory at Scunthorpe.
Last week Sir Alex Ferguson claimed City don’t have the mental strength to win the tie, City defender Nedum Onuoha claims the pressure is on United to perform and some top betting sites are finding the tie too close to call.
If the blues do win through, they will face Richard Dunne’s Aston Villa on February 28th. For those superstitious supporters, it will be exactly 34 years to the date when City last won the League Cup against Newcastle United in 1976.
Is City’s name on the cup? If it is then those who placed bets on the blues early in the season will be probably spend their free betting bonus on the blues reaching the top four and the Champions League come May.
Whatever happens, it promises to be a good game, end to end and a match packed with incidents
The blues will be boosted by the return of Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor. Toure’s Ivory Coast side were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations earlier this week and Adebayor has been on indefinite compassionate leave since the terrorist attack on the Togo team bus which left three people dead.
Manager Roberto Martinez will make a late decision on whether to include the pair but definitely out are Roque Santa Cruz and Joleon Lescott, while City may leave Brazilian star Robinho out of the squad completely due to his possible loan move to Santos.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson must decide whether to play his strongest team possible or leave some out bearing in mind the trip to Arsenal at the weekend.
Rio Ferdinand may play in the centre of defence despite being charged by the FA of violent conduct, following Saturday’s win over Hull City. The home side will also be playing under a backdrop of unrest in the stands as protests continue over the Glazer family’s control over the club.
Over The Blue Moon Prediction:
United will go for the jugular from the off but City should survive an onslaught from the reds and progress to the final.
United 1-1 City
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