Manchester United will be looking to confirm their place in the Carabao Cup Final in this Semi-Final Second Leg against Nottingham Forest tonight.
Forest will have to stage an unlikely comeback to stand any chance of progression after a 3-0 first leg victory for the Red Devils at The City Ground last week.
Both sides have history in the competition, with nine wins between them, four for the visitors and five for United. They have even met in the final before, with United running out 1-0 winners in 1992.
Newcastle United await the winners following their 2-1 (3-1 agg.) victory over Southampton on Tuesday night, and will no doubt provide a stern test for either side.
The sides have faced off twice this season, once in the league and in the first leg, with both resulting in a 3-0 United win.
United are seeking their first silverware under Erik Ten Hag, and a first trophy since winning the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017.
The Reds have been in superb form as of late, leaving aside their 3-2 loss to league leaders Arsenal, and Ten Hag’s intent to win has been clear to see with the strength of sides he has put out in the domestic cup competitions.
Whilst other managers have been happy to sacrifice them, the Dutchman clearly understands the importance of building a winning culture, and though the 3-0 lead may afford him the chance to rest a few of his most important players, he will expect whatever side he puts out to comfortably ease themselves over the line and into the final.
Meanwhile Steve Cooper’s side are seeking a first piece of silverware since 1990, also coming in the League Cup. This is their first semi-final for in 30 years but going one step further looks beyond them now.
Forest have been on an upwards trajectory after a poor start to the season, but their attacking approach leaves them vulnerable at the back and was exploited ruthlessly by United’s forwards in the first leg.
Injuries are likely to influence the selections from both managers, with Forest in particular missing lots of key players. Kouyate is out for two months in midfield, whilst Gibbs-White and Awoniyi also look to be facing extended spells on the sidelines.
Further adding to Forest’s woes is a virus sweeping around the camp, with Ryan Yates and Jack Colback both doubtful ahead of tonight’s game. New signing Chris Wood is ineligible due to being cup tied.
United will be without Christian Eriksen, the midfielder going down with an ankle injury and unlikely to feature again until the final weeks of the season. They are also without Scott McTominay, leaving them lighter in the middle of the park than manager Ten Hag will be comfortable with.
Expect another open and watchable game, with the visitors having nothing to lose and needing early goals. Even if Forest cannot force an early goal, the prospect of a final should keep them motivated until the end. United’s progress looks all but assured, but they must be wary of complacency, a message that a serial winner like Ten Hag will be sure all of his players understand.
Man United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Martinez, Varane, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Elanga, Fernandes, Garnacho; Weghorst
Nott’m Forest: Hennessey; Aurier, Worrall, McKenna, Lodi; Mangala, Danilo, Freuler; Scarpa; Johnson, Lingard
Where can I watch Manchester United v Nottingham Forest?
The game will be televised in the UK on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.
What time does Manchester United v Nottingham Forest kick off?
The game is scheduled to kick off at 8:00PM GMT.
Who is the referee for Manchester United v Nottingham Forest?
Peter Bankes has been selected to referee this Carabao Cup Semi Final. He is yet to referee Manchester United this season, but has officiated twice for Forest, overseeing a win and a draw for the Midlands side.
Where is Manchester United v Nottingham Forest being held?
The second leg is taking place at Old Trafford. Unlike the FA Cup, who have semi-finals at a neutral venue, the Carabao Cup’s two-legged semi-finals mean both sides play home and away games. The first leg was held last week at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.