Remember when we won a football match? Seems like forever ago, and one month is actually a long time. This is not a good run of results for Manchester City, and having a Derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford is not an easy way to end a five-game winless streak.
Thankfully, it's just the EFL Cup, so we don't really expect too much importance given to the game from either side. It being a Derby makes the game must-watch, obviously, but this isn't nearly as anticipated as the first one this season, which also took place at the Theater of Dreams and was a truly spectacular football match.
Still, it's Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho again, it's Old Trafford, it's a Derby that everyone will watch around the world, and it's another opportunity to end the bad streak. City actually have to win this one, but that doesn't mean the world will fall apart if we lose, even though it'll probably look like that if we don't qualify for the quarterfinals.
Anyway, it should be fun. After all, it's a Derby.
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 8pm local time, 3pm ET, Noon PT (US), 12:30am IST (India, next day)
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Referee: Mike Dean
TV listings: beIN SPORTS (US & Canada), Sky Sports 1 (UK), TEN 1 HD, TEN 2 (India), elsewhere
Online streaming: beIN SPORTS CONNECT, FuboTV (US & Canada), Sky GO (UK), TEN Sports Live (India), elsewhere
Man United: No Eric Bailly and no Phil Jones means Jose will have to stick with Chris Smalling and Daley Blind at center-back, with Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw fighting for a start at left-back. In midfield, Marouane Fellaini is injured, which probably means a start for young Timothy Fosu-Mensah. It's tough to see Paul Pogba playing, so Michael Carrick partners Fosu-Mensah in midfield, with a probable trio of Ashley Young, Ander Herrera and Memphis Depay in front of them. Anthony Martial is back, and he's probably starting at striker, although Marcus Rashford can also play. Zlatan may get a rest.
Wayne Rooney is a doubt through injury, and we'll have to wait for the lineups to find out if he's actually playing or not.
Man City: Pep Guardiola is planning to rotate the squad, which means minutes for reserves and kids. Without Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna, only Pablo Maffeo can start at right-back, and that will probably happen. On the other side, Gaël Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov and Angeliño Tasende will be in contention for a full-back spot, but all three might end up playing, with Clichy as left-back, Kolarov in central defense and Angeliño in midfield.
Leroy Sané is in good form, and since he's young and hungry, he'll probably start here, though Jesus Navas is also fighting for a spot on the team, with Nolito the likely starter on the left wing. Don't expect Fernandinho, Gundogan or David Silva to play here, which means Aleix García will start once again with Fernando and Angeliño most likely rounding up the midfield.
Up front, Sergio Agüero will get a rest, although he could be on the bench. Kelechi Iheanacho scored at the weekend, and having also found the net in the first Derby two months ago, he'll fancy another chance to start and score on Wednesday.
Kevin De Bruyne has a calf problem, though that's not serious and he'll be available for the Premier League game at the weekend. He wouldn't play against United anyway, so there's that.
We're never winning again, so we won't win this one either. United advance with a 2-0 win. Sorry.