Oh hey, it's Derby week! Manchester United and Manchester City clash on Wednesday at Old Trafford in a Round of 16 EFL Cup matchup that promises fireworks. Both teams arrive for this game low on confidence, and the second Jose Mourinho vs Pep Guardiola duel of the season doesn't look nearly as high-profile as the first one.
This being the League Cup helps in diminishing the importance of this Derby a little bit, but both sides haven't exactly given reasons to be excited for this one. City are riding a five-game winless streak, while United only have a Europa League win over Fenerbahçe to show in their last four matches. Both teams aren't playing as well as we thought they'd be at this point in the campaign, and both managers are under scrutiny.
It's unclear whether or not either manager sees this as a meaningful match, and it's impossible to know if they're using full-strength lineups for Wednesday's game. Both are highly likely to rotate the squads heavily, and in Pep's case, give minutes to young players. It's good to give reserves and youngsters opportunities to shine, and their hunger and desire to impress the manager could make this a very fun game to watch.
Another thing that forces a rotation for both Pep and Jose is the fixture list combined with the amount of injuries they're facing, as some big names from both sides will miss the game because of physical problems. With no suspensions for this game, here's the full list of probable absences due to injury: