Carabao Cup holders Manchester United will be hoping to tighten their grip on the trophy they won back in February when they take on Championship outfit Bristol City in the competition’s quarter-finals on Wednesday night. Jose Mourinho’s side picked up their second consecutive Premier League victory on Sunday, thanks to a 2-1 victory over struggling West Bromwich Albion and the Portuguese boss has confirmed that he will not be making wholesale changes for the trip to Ashton Gate.
In goal, David de Gea could be given the night off, with Argentina international Sergio Romero likely to make his third Carabao Cup appearance of the campaign in his place. During Sunday’s win at the Hawthorns Stadium, right-back Antonio Valencia had to be substituted midway through the second half after picking up a hamstring injury, although it is not yet known how long the Ecuadorian could be sidelined for.
Academy product Axel Tuanzebe could deputise for the former Wigan man after being left out of the reserves squad that drew 1-1 with Leicester City on Monday night.
On the other side of United’s defence, Luke Shaw may come in for the impressive Ashley Young, having put in a number of eye-catching performances in recent weeks in which the 22-year-old has continued to stake his claim for a regular place in the United first-team.
In midfield, meanwhile, the mercurial Paul Pogba is available for selection following his domestic three-match ban and might be handed a place in Mourinho’s starting XI, potentially alongside youngster Scott McTominay, who impressed during last week’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth. Belgium international Marouane Fellaini is also a doubt for the midweek clash as he remains sidelined through injury, although it is unconfirmed when the former Everton man will be ready to return to action.
Perhaps the most surprising news was that Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan may be in line for his first United appearance since the end of November. The former Borussia Dortmund man has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford amid rumours that he could be on his way out of the club once the transfer window opens next month. Having begun Sunday’s clash on the substitute’s bench, Anthony Martial may be handed a starting berth on the left-wing, whilst Marcus Rashford may be rested.
Up front, Mourinho may opt to rest star striker Romelu Lukaku, who seems to be back to his best having scored twice in his last two United appearances and hand Zlatan Ibrahimovic his first start of the campaign.
Wednesday’s trip to Aston Gate will be far from straightforward for United, who will be coming up against a Bristol City side currently sitting in third place in the Championship and who have already knocked out three Premier League sides in the Carabao Cup, this season. Mourinho will be hoping to avoid any more injuries as the Red Devils gear up for a hectic festive fixture schedule, with Wednesday’s clash being the first of eight matches in all competitions over the next month.