Thursday 22 September 2016

United to host City as bitter rivals collide in EFL Cup

United's reward for getting past Northampton on Wednesday is a home tie with fierce local rivals and current holders City in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

Jose Mourinho's side will go into the game with revenge on their minds after Pep Guardiola's team- who have won every game so far this season- emerged with victory in the league encounter at Old Trafford twelve days ago.

League matches aside, the two sides locked horns in this competition at the semi-final stage back in 2010, with United running out 4-3 aggregate winners (a late, late Rooney header sending the Reds through) on the way to lifting the trophy with victory over Villa in the final.

There was also a memorable FA Cup meeting in 2012, with United once again edging things despite a stirring City fightback that left Sir Alex's side hanging on for a 3-2 win (having been 3-0 up in the game in which Paul Scholes surprisingly came out retirement). 

The match with City- to be played at Old Trafford on Wednesday 26 October- is the penultimate match in a hectic October for the team, with trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge sandwiched between the Europa League visit of Fenerbahce and the home league match with Burnley. 

The Manchester derby is one of a number of standout fourth round ties as Liverpool host Spurs and Chelsea travel to West Ham with the remaining 16 sides all bidding for a place in the quarter-finals. 

When the draw was made after yesterday's matches were completed, United midfielder Ander Herrera was already looking forward to the match, and said:

"I think it is a good tie for us as we can show again what we can do. 
"We as a club were very disappointed two weeks ago because we lost in front of our own fans against our local rivals.
"Now we have a chance to play against them again and I am sure it will be very different this time.
"Our fans are always behind us so we have no doubt that the atmosphere will be special."

The League Cup is traditionally an opportunity for managers to experiment and give minutes to those members of the squad in need of game time but Messrs Mourinho and Guardiola will both want to win this competition so expect to see two full strength sides going at it on 26 October. 

Bring it on!

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