Manchester City and Manchester United finally get their Carling Cup semi-final underway, as the first leg takes place at Eastlands on Tuesday. The original match fell foul of the weather and with the other semi-final due for completion on Wednesday these two clubs will already know their opponents, in the final, by the time they meet again at Old Trafford next Wednesday.

As if being just two games from Wembley isn't a big enough incentive, this one has the added spice of a Manchester derby, which is sure to live up to all expectations.

City arrived at the semi-final stage after beating Crystal Palace, Fulham, Scunthorpe United and Arsenal, when goals from Carlos Tevez, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Vladimir Weiss secured a 3-0 win.

United on the other hand have overcome Wolverhampton Wanderers, Barnsley and Tottenham Hotspur in a repeat of last year's final. Darron Gibson scored twice in the first half to wrap up the victory and set up tonight's derby clash.

Just nine points separate second placed United and fifth placed City and after their seven goal thriller in the Premier League back in September this one should be a good one.

Both Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy scored braces that day but with the fixture looking like ending up a draw Michael Owen popped up with the winner in injury time and as a former United star Carlos Tevez is looking for revenge.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror he said: "What happened at Old Trafford earlier this season is still in our heads and this is the moment for revenge."

"I want to play in this match for many reasons. It's a semi-final, a derby and there's a bitter rivalry between the two clubs.

"I believe this is a good moment for us to play a local rival like United, who never normally give anything to their opponents.

"In a semi-final over two matches and in a derby, anything is possible. But I think the key will be the return game at Old Trafford and we must ensure we get a good result at home."

City had been in good form leading up to this match with Roberto Mancini winning his first four games in charge but they were beaten, for the first time in six games at the weekend, as they went down 2-0 to Everton at Goodison Park.

Manchester United beat Burnley in the league at the weekend but only a fortnight ago they were bundled out of the FA Cup in the biggest shock of this season's competition so far. They lost 1-0 to Leeds United at Old Trafford so will be desperate to keep alive their hopes of domestic silverware and retain the trophy.


This will be the 153rd meeting between the two sides in all competitions, the first of which came way back in 1894, when United beat City 5-2 at Hyde Road. The red half of Manchester was celebrating again later in the season when they won the reverse fixture 4-1 at Bank Street.

United lead the head to head charts with 62 wins compared to City's 41 while 49 matches have ended all square.


Stephen Ireland could return for the Sky Blues, after he missed Saturday's trip to Everton with a hamstring injury but Patrick Viera will definitely miss out as he is forced to wait to make his debut after a damaged calf.

Nedum Onouha returned to the squad on Saturday after injury, so comes into contention for a starting place, but Wayne Bridge misses out although he is closing in on a return to training. Emmanuel Adebayor (compassionate leave), Michael Johnson, Joleen Lescott (all knee), Roque Santa Cruz (calf) and Kolo Toure (international duty) also miss out.

Rio Ferdinand could be in line for a return to action at Eastlands after three months out of action with a back problem. His central defensive partner Nemanja Vidic could also return after two weeks out.

United are also likely to be without striker Dimitar Berbatov, who limped off during Saturday's win over Burnley.

The second leg takes place at Old Trafford on Wednesday 27th January.