Man Utd v Man City preview: Jose Mourinho demands improvement in EFL Cup derby
Last Updated: 26/10/16 8:05pm
Jose Mourinho will be hoping his Manchester United side bounce back from their weekend humiliation at Chelsea with an improved display against rivals Manchester City in the EFL Cup fourth round on Wednesday.
It was a nightmare return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the former Chelsea manager, who watched on helplessly from the sidelines as his side were soundly beaten 4-0, conceding after just 30 seconds.
The second Manchester derby of the season comes only a month after Mourinho last faced off against Pep Guardiola and it was the latter who came out on top in that encounter, as his side won 2-1 at Old Trafford.
"I would prefer to play (next) in the Premier League. It's a bad feeling in the Premier League. With the combination of results, the gap to the top is six points," Mourinho told MUTV.
"We have had a very difficult period of matches. We lost points this week and, even in the match when we played phenomenal against Stoke (a 1-1 draw), we lost points then. Now we need to win matches."
City are without a win in five games in all competitions after Sunday's 1-1 draw at home to Southampton, while United have won just once in their last four matches and were humiliated last time out, a result which ended a six-game unbeaten run.
Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has been ruled out of the game.
The Belgian suffered a calf injury in the draw with Southampton on Sunday, while Pablo Zabaleta (foot) is unlikely to return and fellow right-back Bacary Sagna (hamstring) is still out.
Willy Caballero is set to play in goal and captain Vincent Kompany could be rested with manager Guardiola planning to rotate his squad.
Eric Bailly will miss out for Manchester United after he confirmed he will be ruled out for two months with a knee injury and questions remain over Wayne Rooney's fitness.
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini came off at half-time due to a knock sustained in a clash with David Luiz, so the Belgian will also be assessed.
United captain Rooney missed the match with an unspecified muscle injury, while Luke Shaw, Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were among those fit but omitted from the squad at Stamford Bridge. Phil Jones remains out with a knee injury.
Manchester United have won two of their six previous League Cup meetings with Man City (D1 L3), though are unbeaten in the three meetings at Old Trafford.
The last time these sides met in the League Cup was in the 2009-10 semi-final, with United winning 4-3 on aggregate thanks to a 3-1 win at Old Trafford in the second leg.
Both times Man City have eliminated their neighbours from the League Cup, they've gone on to win the trophy (1969-70 and 1975-76).
In all competitions, Man City have won four of their last six visits to Old Trafford (D1 L1).
Two of Jose Mourinho's three wins against Guardiola as manager have come in cup competitions (one Champions League, one Copa Del Rey).
Mourinho has won 14 of his 19 games in the League Cup (D4 L1, two penalty shootout defeats).
Despite winning the competition in 2014 and 2016, Man City haven't reached the League Cup quarter-finals in back-to-back seasons since the 1978-79 campaign.
In all competitions, Guardiola has failed to win his last three away games with Man City. He's only ever gone four away games without a win once in his managerial career (March 2009).
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
Both sides need a win. Mourinho might be looking at this knowing he needs it to buy himself some time.
It's turning into a really awkward moment, to an extent which Mourinho has probably never come across. He's got a pretty average team which doesn't play the way he likes; Bailly injured, Rooney out of sorts because he's tried to fit Pogba in his position and Zlatan Ibrahimovic looking more and more frustrated.
As for City, Kelechi Iheanacho can come in after scoring again. They are playing well, of course they are, but they're making so many mistakes that we have to focus on the problems.
I think United will get physical and I think we'll see quite a few bookings. There's no way those players can't be angry after the weekend, especially coming up against a team who have also ripped them apart.