European football matchday: Manchester derby in League Cup semi-final; AC Milan host Juventus

Manchester City look to reach the League Cup final for the fifth time in the last six years by beating fierce rival Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Associated Press January 06, 2021 09:40:39 IST
European football matchday: Manchester derby in League Cup semi-final; AC Milan host Juventus

Manchester City beat Manchester United in the League Cup semi-finals last season. AP

A look at what’s happening around European football on Wednesday:

ENGLAND

Manchester City look to reach the League Cup final for the fifth time in the last six years by beating fierce rival Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The winner of the second semi-final will meet Tottenham in the final at Wembley Stadium on 25 April. City beat United in the semi-finals last season and went on to win the competition for the fourth straight year. Another title would move City level with Liverpool on eight.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to have got the measure of City, though, leading his team to three wins and a draw in five meetings since the start of last season. United haven't won a trophy since 2017 and lost in the semi-finals in three competitions — the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League — last season.

ITALY

Serie A leader AC Milan face the biggest test of their title credentials when they host nine-time defending champion Juventus. Juventus are struggling under first-time coach Andrea Pirlo — who played for Milan for 10 seasons — and are fifth, 10 points behind their opponent although they have played a match less.

Milan are still without a number of players through injury, including key forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Inter Milan will have a close eye on the match as they are just a point behind their city rivals and visit Sampdoria.

Roma and Napoli are the other teams in the top four and they play Crotone and Spezia respectively. Both those teams are in the bottom three, along with Genoa, which visit high-flying Sassuolo.

Torino managed to crawl out of the relegation zone on Sunday but are level on points with two of the teams immediately below them and hosts Hellas Verona. All 20 Serie A teams are in action and it is also: Atalanta vs. Parma, Lazio vs. Fiorentina, Cagliari vs. Benevento and Bologna vs. Udinese.

FRANCE

The league resumes with Mauricio Pochettino taking charge of his first game as Paris Saint-Germain coach, away to lowly Saint-Etienne. Pochettino replaced Thomas Tuchel, who was fired late last month as PSG headed into the winter break in the unfamiliar position of sitting in third place and having lost four league games.

Pochettino, who led Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019 before himself getting sacked, has eight players missing through injury — including Neymar.

PSG are one point behind Lille and league leader Lyon, which are ahead on goal difference but will be missing forward Karl Toko Ekambi for the home game against Lens. He is recovering from the coronavirus . Lille, which host Angers, has also been hit by COVID-19 cases with winger Luiz Araujo and attacking midfielder Yusuf Yazici both catching it.

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