City and United square off with both managers under pressure, but who will emerge on top?
Man United v Man City - Wednesday 20:00, Sky Sports 1
Pep Guardiola kept his players locked in the dressing for almost an hour on Sunday, holding an inquest after the 1-1 draw with Southampton. But a low-key home display - without defeat - isn’t necessarily a bad precursor to a knockout derby. City should have plenty in the tank and are fancied to prevail here, especially in light of what followed later in the day.
United’s morale-sapping 4-0 defeat at Chelsea presents Mourinho with a challenge to quickly repair confidence, although the Red Devils do at least benefit from the experience of their league defeat to City a little over six weeks ago. The mistakes of that chastening first half will surely be heeded and we should expect United to put up much stronger resistance this time around.
However, the approach is more likely to be gleaned from what Everton and Southampton did to City rather than Tottenham or Barcelona, meaning we might be in for a bit of a slow burner in terms of shots on goal. Ultimately, though, we should expect City to dominate possession and United to tire quicker, with Guardiola able to call upon better options from the bench.
Therefore, a bet on Man City to win in extra time makes intuitive sense. Both teams should be prepared to go the distance if necessary, making the stalemate over 90 minutes theoretically more likely than it would be in a league match. However, City’s overall chances are slightly better than a coin-toss, so take out a saver on the Sky Blues to qualify at even money.