Manchester United vs. Manchester City Carabao Cup Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Jan. 6)
John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images. Pictured: Pep Guardiola (left) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
- A trip to Wembley is on the line in the Carabao Cup, as Manchester United hosts Manchester City.
- United and City face off for the second time in four weeks, having played to a goalless draw on Dec. 12.
- Anthony Dabbundo sees a similar kind of match in the Carabao Cup and explains how he's betting the game:
Manchester United vs. Manchester City Odds
|Manchester United Odds||+265 [BET NOW]|
|Manchester City Odds||+100 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+275 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-148/+118) [BET NOW]|
|Time||2:45 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
Two of the Premier League’s hottest teams will meet in the Carabao Cup semifinal on Wednesday at Old Trafford with the winner taking on the winner of the first semifinal between Tottenham and Brentford in the final on April 25.
Even though the Carabao Cup ranks fourth among the trophies that these two clubs are competing for, both sides should play strong lineups with just a pair of victories separating them from hardware.
While the festive period has had plenty of low-energy, low-quality matches because of tired legs and fixture pileups, Manchester United’s match with Aston Villa on New Year’s Day was one of the most exciting matchups. Both teams were able to generate chances and attack in an open game.
Villa offered little resistance through the midfield to United in transition, and City is sure to offer more pressure in transition.
Aston Villa played the Red Devils evenly, and the penalty that United were awarded — controversial at that — won the game for them. After a poor start to the season, United’s metrics have settled in to be about the fourth or fifth best team, based on expected goal difference per 90 minutes (xGDiff/90).
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Manchester United have had plenty of success against their city rivals recently, but I question their ability to find enough chances against this City defense. In the last meeting, on Dec. 12, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford combined for three total shots, all of low quality. Most of the Red Devils’ chances came from set pieces.
Manchester City turned in the most dominant big-game performance of the season on Sunday with a 3-1 thrashing of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Blues had a good opening 15 minutes before City blew them away with two goals in quick succession. Manchester City led 3-0 at halftime and cruised to a 3-1 win. They also won the xG battle, 2.4-0.7, according to FBref.com, and their defense suffocated Chelsea.
There’s been plenty of drama at the start of the PL season about who the title favorites are, with Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and now Manchester United staking their claims at different points throughout the first four months.
But the Cityzens are flying under the radar. Manchester City’s underlying numbers are very impressive, leading the league in expected goals against (xGA) and xGDiff/90. City have the depth to maintain those rates over what is going to be a grueling campaign.
City have allowed a full four goals fewer by xGA (13.1) than the next two closest competitors, Aston Villa (17.6) and Tottenham (17.8). They’ve allowed the fewest entries into and passes in their own penalty area.
As manager Pep Guardiola showed in the last meeting with Manchester United, he is not afraid to be more conservative in order to prevent United’s lethal transition offense penetrate his sometimes vulnerable transition defense.
That’s how United beat City in three of four meetings last year. This year, City stifled United, missed some chances, and settled for a goalless draw back on Dec. 12.
Pick & Analysis
I make the line City -105 and see very little value in backing the Cityzens to win over 90 minutes.
When these two teams met at Old Trafford about three weeks ago, Manchester City finally showed they had improved their counter-attack defense. Both managers were conservative in their approaches and willing to take the draw.
Because this is a cup semifinal, I expect another slow start before both managers look to win it in the game’s final 30 minutes.
Pick: Under 2.75 goals (-115 or better)