Carabao Cup semi-final second leg preview


The second legs of the Carabao Cup semi-finals take place this midweek as Leicester City and Aston Villa do battle at Villa Park on Tuesday night before the Manchester Derby lights up Wednesday evening at The Etihad Stadium.

carabao-cup-semi-final-second-leg-previewWhile one team already have one foot in their EFL Cup Final three-piece suit, the other tie is poised on a knife-edge in a game that truly could go either way.

Aston Villa vs. Leicester City – Tuesday Jan 28th, 7:45 pm GMT kick-off

There can be no question that Aston Villa go into this game the happier of the two sides after the 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium three weeks ago. With many having expected Leicester’s attack, led by Jamie Vardy and James Maddison, to blow their Midlands rivals out of the water, The Villains will be encouraged to have escaped with a draw that could even have been a victory.

It took a Kelechi Iheanacho equaliser to salvage the draw at the King Power, but Leicester are not to be underestimated on the road. Their away form is arguably better than their home form, with massive wins on their travels this season including the 9-0 thrashing they gave Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium. By comparison, The Saints were able to win at the King Power.

This tie could go all the way, and with no away goals taking effect at any stage, Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel and Villa’s Pepe Reina may well be required for the dreaded or thrilling – depending on whether you’re a neutral or not – penalty shoot-out. You heard it here first.

Manchester City vs. Manchester United – Wednesday Jan 29th, 7:45 pm GMT kick-off

While the all-Midlands clash at Villa Park could go either way, it’s very difficult to see The Red Devils turning round the damaging 3-1 first leg defeat they suffered at the hands of their ‘Noisy Neighbours’ at Old Trafford.

Back at The Etihad, The Citizens are bound to be too much for United. Even the shock 2-1 victory that United enjoyed on the same ground just a few short weeks ago would not be enough to turn around the tie, and with major injuries to arguably their two best players in Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, The Red Devils are right up against it.

City may rest players, but they’re still very big favourites to seal the deal on their home turf. Both sides should score, but we’d still back a decent City win, maybe even a repeat of the 3-1 victory they enjoyed with such flair at the home of their once deadliest and now most defeated enemies.

Full semi-final fixtures:

Tuesday Jan 28th (7:45 pm GMT kick-off)

Aston Villa vs. Leicester City

Wednesday Jan 29th (7:45 pm GMT kick-off)

Manchester City vs. Manchester United