It is an important week for four Premier League teams this week as not only do they league-soccer-bet365face a crucial match in that competition at the weekend, but they also face the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal ties, which are to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

The first tie will take place at Old Trafford and features the two big Manchester clubs as Manchester United take on their great rivals Manchester City. A day later at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, Brendan Rodgers Leicester City will face Midlands rivals Aston Villa in what should be an equally entertaining game.

All four of the teams in the semifinals have won the trophy previously with Manchester City winning it four times in the past six seasons, Manchester United last won it just a couple of years back in 2017, while Leicester’s last victory was in 2000. Aston Villa’s last win in the tournament came four years before that in 1996 when they defeated Leeds 3-0 in the final.

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Let’s now take a look at the first legs of the two Carabao Cup semifinals that will take place this week, with the second legs of these games scheduled to take place three weeks later on the 28th and 29th January respectively.

Carabao Cup Semifinals 1st Leg

Tuesday 7th January

Manchester United v Manchester City (8pm)

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Man Utd

  • 3rd Round – v Rochdale (H) – D 1-1 (W 5-3 on penalties) – Greenwood 68
  • 4th Round – v Chelsea (A) – W 2-1 – Rashford 25 (pen),73
  • Quarterfinals – v Colchester (H) – W 3-0 – Rashford 51, Jackson OG 55, Martial 61

Man City

  • 3rd Round – v Preston (A) – W 3-0 – Sterling 19, Jesus 35, Ledson OG 42
  • 4th Round – v Southampton (H) – W 3-1 – Otamendi 20, Aguero 38,56
  • Quarterfinals – v Oxford Utd (A) – W 3-1 – Cancelo 22, Sterling 50,70

The second leg of this game will be played Wednesday 29th January at 7.45pm

Team News

I can see both these teams picking pretty much full-strength teams for the first leg. Both will realise that this competition, along with the FA Cup, may offer them their best chance of domestic silverware this season, given the lead that Liverpool hold in the Premier League and with City holding both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup trophies, it is fair to say that they would like to maintain their grip on them

United though did beat City at the Etihad in the Premier League a short time ago and that defeat will still rankle with City. The problem for United is, I don’t think they can play on the counter at home against their city rivals here and that I think plays more into City’s hands in the first leg.

I think both sides will play their reserve keepers (Romero for United, Bravo for Man City) but other than that and perhaps a couple of youngsters who have all been in or about the first team this season, I can see both managers picking strong sides.

As such, that makes this a very intriguing semi-final and one that I feel won’t be settled, regardless of the score, until the very end of the second leg in three weeks’ time.

Top Tips

  • Man Utd v Man City – Draw – 7/2
  • Both Teams to Score – Yes – 7/10
  • Draw and Both Teams to Score – 9/2
  • Anytime Goalscorer – Marcus Rashford (Man Utd) – 21/10.

Wednesday 8th January

Leicester City v Aston Villa (8pm)

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Leicester City

  • 2nd Round – v Newcastle Utd (A) – D 1-1 (W 4-2 on pens) – Maddison 34
  • 3rd Round – v Luton Town (A) – W 4-0 – Gray 34, Justin 44, Tielemans 79, Iheanacho 86
  • 4th Round – v Burton Albion (A) – W 3-1 – Iheanacho 7, Tielemans 20, Maddison 89
  • Quarterfinals – v Everton (A) – D 2-2 (W 4-2 on pens) – Maddison 26, Evans 29

Aston Villa

  • 2nd Round – v Crewe Alexandra (A) – W 6-1 – Konsa 4, Hourihane 24,45, Davis 69, Guilbert 76, Grealish 87
  • 3rd Round – v Brighton (A) – W 3-1 – Jota 22, Hourihane 33, Grealish 77
  • 4th Round – v Wolves (H) – W 2-1 – El Ghazi 28, Elmohamady 57
  • Quarterfinals – v Liverpool (H) – W 5-0 – Hourihane 14, Boyes OG 17, Kodjia 37,45, Wesley 90

The second leg of this game will be played on Tuesday 28th January at 7.45pm

Team News

It’s fair to say that Leicester City have not had the easiest trip to the semifinals with four away ties in this competition so far, including two against Premier League opponents. Villa have bettered three Premier league opponents so far, but have played two of those at home, but even so, their progress has been excellent, even if the Liverpool team they faced in the quarterfinals was hugely weakened by the Reds participation in the World Club Championship at the same time.

With silverware a rarity for both these teams, I think both will pick very strong teams for this game perhaps with just one or two changes to their regular EPL line up. Injuries have hit Villa hard though in recent weeks with Wesley, Tom Heaten and John McGinn all key absentees through injury.

That factor, combined with Leicester’s generally excellent form at the moment means that I am leaning strongly towards Leicester taking a healthy lead from the first leg into the second leg at Villa Park, especially if they decide to play Jamie Vardy in this game, as they did in the last round at Everton. He and James Maddison will be the difference makers in this tie I feel.

Top Tips

  • Leicester City v Aston Villa – Leicester to win – 4/11.
  • Both Teams to Score – No – 19/20
  • Leicester to win and Both Teams to Score – No – 11/8
  • Anytime Goalscorer – James Maddison (Leicester) – 13/10.

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 12.15pm on Monday 6th January 2020.