Weblog: The football punter

Citizens can make fast start against United

Manchester United improved as the game went on against Arsenal last time out but they were 2-0 down at the break and a slow start could cost them against Manchester City in the first leg of this League Cup semi-final.

This competition will be low on Pep Guardiola’s list of priorities but he still has the squad depth to field an energetic team who can put pressure on the Red Devils at Old Trafford.

No Premier League club has netted more first-half goals than Manchester City (26) this campaign and, should they go ahead in this contest, they have the resilience to hold off a United attack who have drawn blanks against both the Gunners and Watford recently.

City lost the reverse fixture 2-1 in the league last month but dominated the game, enjoying 72 per cent possession and winning the shot count 23-11. They can make amends with a derby victory which will edge them closer to the final.

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