Soccer

Manchester United vs. Manchester City: EFL Cup semifinal live stream, TV channel, watch online, odds, time

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Manchester City’s bid to match Liverpool’s record four straight EFL Cups faces perhaps its greatest challenge on Wednesday night when crosstown rivals Manchester United welcome them to Old Trafford. United were the last team to beat City in the EFL Cup back in October 2016, Juan Mata scoring the only goal to fire the Red Devils toward what would be the first piece of silverware of Jose Mourinho’s Old Trafford tenure. 

It remains the only occasion in which Pep Guardiola has failed to win this particular trophy, one which he has hoisted on four occasions in five seasons in English football. A repeat of their display against Chelsea at the weekend might put City on the path to number five.

Here is how you can watch the game and what you need to know:

Viewing information

  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 4
  • Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
  • Location: Old Trafford — Manchester, United Kingdom
  • TV/Live stream: ESPN+
  • Odds: Man United +260; Draw +270; Man City -105 (via William Hill Sportsbook)

Storylines

Manchester United: For all the positivity around United right now they need little reminder of their recent difficulties with semis. In the past 12 months they have already lost three – one at this stage of last season’s competition to City before exiting the FA Cup to Chelsea and Europa League at the hands of Sevilla – and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still yet to lead his team out in a final.

“We have developed a lot in the last 12 months from last season’s EFL Cup semifinal,” he said. “It is not just a case of learning how to win them, it is earning the right to go all the way. But we are confident and we are in good form. There are no excuses.”

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Manchester City: Was the 3-1 win over Chelsea a short-term blueprint to add some impetus to the surprisingly stilted attacking play of City so far this season? With Kevin De Bruyne operating as something akin to a playmaking target man in the center forward’s role Guardiola’s side were at their freewheeling best with Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva flitting menacingly in support of the Belgian.

With so many of City’s squad being missing due to COVID-19 (only Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker will have completed the mandatory 10-day isolation period by Wednesday and must still produce a negative test) there seems to be strong reason to assume that Guardiola might repeat the plan that worked so spectacularly at Stamford Bridge.

Prediction

Both sides arrive at this semifinal in a rich vein of form, though if their last meeting is anything to go by one ought not to expect too many fireworks. Instead the greater consistency of City makes them the side to back. PICK: Manchester City (-105)



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