Manchester United are coming off a hard-worked 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion this past weekend, but now they have to flip the switch. The Red Devils will take on Bristol City this Wednesday on a new Carabao Cup contest, competition they already won last season and where they want to defend the title once again. The game starts at 20:00 BST at Ashton Gate Stadium.
Manchester United will have a fair share of absences ahead of this game. Antonio Valencia suffered a hamstring injury this past Sunday, and it remains how long he will be out. Eric Bailly will miss between two to three months after undergoing surgery. And both Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick remain sidelined, although the former is making good progress in recent weeks.
There will be one important return, though, as Paul Pogba will likely start in midfield. The French playmaker missed the past three Premier League games with a suspension, and it is likely that he will see some action in order to gain match fitness ahead of the weekend’s contest against Leicester City. There could also be a slight degree of rotation considering how packed the calendar will be in the coming weeks.
Mourinho also hinted at a potential return of Henrik Mkhitaryan to the starting lineup. And Axel Tuanzebe might play a role as here since he wasn’t called-up for the Reserves’ 1-1 draw against Leicester City on Monday. Sergio Romero will likely start between the posts to give David De Gea some much-needed rest.
On the other end, Bristol City won’t have many absentees ahead of this game. Callum O’Dowda is expected to be out due to an ankle problem, but the rest of the team is reportedly available.
Manchester United currently sit in second place of the English Premier League standings, but they sit 11 points behind Manchester City in the standings. Their Carabao Cup form has been pretty good, too. Jose Mourinho’s men kicked things off with a 4-1 win over Burton Albion, and later dispatched Swansea 2-0 on the road. Undoubtedly, they are one of the biggest favourites to win the competition, and appear as massive favourites ahead of this game.
On the other hand, Bristol City have been impressive in their Carabao Cup campaign. They defeated Plymouth (5-0) in the opening round, but have already eliminated three Premier League sides in the competition. Bristol took care of business against Watford (2-3 away), Stoke City (2-0 at home) and Crystal Palace (4-1 at home), so they have been one of the biggest surprises in the competition. Their Championship form has been impressive as well, as they sit in third place with 43 points after 22 games.
Manchester United have six wins in their last seven Premier League games. There is no question they are in good form right now, and are also the best team out of the two on paper. Bristol will likely try to frustrate United sitting back and playing on the counter, but The Red Devils have enough weapons to answer that. Upsets can always happen on cup competitions, but not this time. Expect United to cruise their way to a relatively easy win at Ashton Gate this Wednesday.
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