SuperSport viewers on DStv will be treated to some prime footballing action from the 2019/20 EFL League Cup – also known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons – which will hold the second legs of its semifinals on the midweek of 28-29 January 2020.
The first clash arrives on the evening of Tuesday 28 January, with Aston Villa hosting Leicester City at Villa Park in Birmingham. The first leg at the King Power Stadium earlier this month ended in a 1-1 draw, with Frederic Guilbert putting the Lions 1-0 up, before Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho brought the Foxes level at 1-1.
With an away goal and home advantage in the return leg, Villa look the favourites to advance into the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium in early March, but there’s still plenty of work to be done against a Leicester side which boasts major potency in attack and will be looking to secure a shot at their first silverware under manager Brendan Rodgers.
“It is perfectly set up for the second leg and we have the confidence of going there and playing well before so we look forward to it,” said Rodgers ahead of the clash in Birmingham, referencing his side’s 4-1 win away to Villa in a Premier League clash earlier this season.
The second semifinal tie will wrap up on the evening of Wednesday 29 January, with the Manchester derby between City and United at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s Citizens foot one foot in the Carabao Cup final with their 3-1 win at Old Trafford in the first leg, where early strikes from Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez, plus an own goal from Andreas Pereria saw the team in light blue to a potentially decisive triumph.
United did beat City in their last trip to the Etihad Stadium in a Premier League clash last month, but Guardiola has altered his tactics to make his side less vulnerable to the counter-attack, thereby closing off one of the Red Devils’ best avenues of getting back into the tie.
Nonetheless, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken some hope from his side’s second-half performance in the first leg, in which Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back to give them a slight hope of turning the tie around.
“I’m still in that phase that this is a young team and we’re learning and these experiences must stick and they will stick,” said Solskjaer. “The second half gives me at least something to believe in because that’s respectable and that’s a good second half.”