Derby County face the daunting task tonight of travelling to the home of the Premier League leaders Manchester United for the Carling Cup Semi Final second leg.

They might lead the tie 1-0 from the first leg but Sir Alex Ferguson's side bounced back from that defeat in style with wins over Chelsea, Wigan and Bolton to go top of the table.

Derby on the other hand have failed to capitalise on their excellent performance on the day, losing their only game since, at home to QPR on Saturday, Nigel Clough's first game in charge.

The former Burton Albion Manager watched from the stands when the two sides went head to head a fortnight ago, as David Lowe took charge of his one and only game following the departure of both Paul Jewell and Chris Hutchings.

Kris Commons got the only goal of the game at Pride Park and the former Nottingham Forest man will be desperate to be on the scoresheet once more.

Speaking to Derby County's Official website - www.dcfc.co.uk Commons said of the tie:

"Going there one-up is obviously better than being three or four down, as most people thought we would have been against apparently the best side in the world.

"We are not in the greatest form of our careers so most people would have been expecting a Manchester United victory.

"It was good that everyone came out to give a good account of ourselves and showed the public we are a decent side when we all turn up.

Sir Alex Ferguson was relieved to only lose the first leg 1-0 and although he has said he will keep faith with his youngsters, the United boss is likely to name his big guns amongst the starting XI, with the Red's just one game from Wembley.

Both Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo were second half substitutes in the last match but he'll be unable to call on the England striker this time around with him out with a hamstring problem.

Manchester United have won the tournament twice, back in 1992 and more recently 2006, while for Derby this is the second time they have reached the Semi-Final stage, the only other time coming back in 1968, when ironically Brian Clough was in charge!

The two sides have met 100 times in all competitions, with United having won 42 and lost 29, while another 29 fixtures have ended all square.

Route to the Semi Finals

Manchester United

Just like Spurs, Manchester United only entered the competition at the third round stage, due to their involvement in European competition. First up was Middlesbrough at Old Trafford, where Ronaldo fired the Reds ahead, only for Adam Johnson to equalise. The sending off of Emanuel Pogatetz changed the game for the visitors and goals from Ryan Giggs and Nani set up a fourth round match with Queens Park Rangers.

It took a 76th minute penalty from Carlos Tevez to overcome the challenge of the Championship side but the Red Devils managed five in the Quarter-Finals as they brushed aside Blackburn Rovers. United were 2-0 up on 40 minutes thanks to goals from Tevez and Nani before Benni McCarthy gave the visitors hope, that was until Tevez scored three more to take home the match ball and give his side a 5-3 win.

Derby County

Derby's road to the Semi-Finals started in August, with a home game against Lincoln City and when Ben Wright fired the Imps ahead things didn't look good. Nathan Ellington sent the game into extra time with just seven minutes to go before scoring twice in extra time to set up a trip to Preston in the Second Round.

Paul Green's 40th minute goal was enough to win at Deepdale and a long trip to Brighton followed. Ellington was on target again but there was another hat-trick hero, Emanuel Villa scoring three in the 4-1 win. Villa and Ellington were on target against in the fourth round, seeing off Leeds United at Pride Park and Ellington was also the hero of the Quarter Final, with a last minute penalty enough to see off the challenge of Stoke City.

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