Manchester United welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford in the concluding Third Round tie of 2022-23 Carabao Cup.
Victory would see Utd avoid a second consecutive exit in successive seasons at this stage of the competition, whilst Villa are also looking to avoid suffering a Third Round exit in two straight campaigns.
Bruno Fernandes is available for Man Utd after he was suspended for their 3-1 Premier League defeat at Villa on Sunday in the Premier League.
Antony (knock) and Jadon Sancho (illness) could both return if they both pass late fitness tests.
Raphael Varane (muscle), Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams (both unspecified) and Mason Greenwood (personal) remain absent.
Aston Villa will be without Philippe Coutinho as he recovers from a muscle injury, which has ruled him out of the World Cup.
Diego Carlos (Achilles) remains absent.
- Man Utd have won just two of seven previous League Cup meetings against Aston Villa (W2, D1, L4).
- Aston Villa drew 1-1 in their only previous League Cup tie away to Utd at Old Trafford in December 1970, in the first leg of their semi-final tie which they won 3-2 on aggregate overall.
- Each of Man Utd’s two previous League Cup wins against Villa were by 2-1 result in October 1975 and February 2010 respectively.
- Utd are looking to avoid consecutive Third Round exits in of the League Cup, having lost to West Ham at this stage last season.
- Villa are unbeaten in five of their last six League Cup meetings against fellow Premier League opposition – excluding penalty shootouts (W4, D2, L1).
Following a poor performance at Villa on Sunday, Utd will need to improve here because their midfield positioning and defensive marking atrociously lacked any urgency, whilst their end product was largely lacklustre except for Luke Shaw’s consolatory goal.
Villa meanwhile had the dynamic spark expected of Utd with clinical finishing and excellent passes which punished the visitors’ poor spacial awareness superbly, yet they now need to be wary of a fierce Utd response now Fernandes and Sancho are back in contention.
Another positive for Villa is that their new manager, Unai Emery knows how to beat Utd as he demonstrated on Sunday so morale and confidence will be high, although he did lose his only previous cup clash against the Red Devils in January 2019 when in charge of Arsenal.
I am therefore anticipating a competitive encounter if it is anything like Sunday with United dominating, but it would be typical of Utd to lose at weekend then beat the same opposition in midweek yet this Villa team do have the quality to spring a surprise.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa
Result: Manchester United 4-2 Aston Villa