Oxford United vs Man City
The Kassam Stadium, Oxfordshire
Wednesday, 18-12-2019 @10:45pm
Ref: Andy Madley
Oxford have a host of injury problems, with top scorer James Henry a major doubt after missing Saturday’s Sky Bet League One defeat at MK Dons because of a thigh issue. Anthony Forde (ribs), Jamie Hanson (hamstring), and George Thorne (shoulder) and on-loan Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn (foot) remain out, along with Simon Eastwood (knee). Cameron Brannagan and Shandon Baptiste should be available having returned from injuries at the weekend.
City boss Pep Guardiola must decide how strong a side to name as he continues to contend with a number of absentees. The two-time defending champions will again be without John Stones (hamstring), Sergio Aguero (thigh) and David Silva (knock), although the latter two could be available for the weekend. Youngsters like Tommy Doyle, Adrian Bernabe – who both played in the previous round – Ian Carlo Poveda-Ocampo and Taylor Harwood-Bellis will hope to feature.
Oxford United and Manchester City met last season in the League Cup third round, with City winning 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium; it is their only previous meeting in the competition. In all competitions, Man City have lost none of their last five away visits to Oxford United (W3 D2 L0) since losing 1-0 in September 1985 in a top-flight encounter. This is Oxford United’s first League Cup quarter-final since the 1987/88 season, when they beat Man Utd to reach the semi-final where they were eliminated by Luton. Since losing to Man Utd in October 2016, Man City have lost none of their 14 matches in the League Cup (W10 D4 L0), winning the competition in each of the last two campaigns. Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has eliminated Premier League opponents five times in his managerial career, seeing his side score exactly four goals in every match – MK Dons 4-3 Blackpool (League Cup, 2010), Norwich 0-4 MK Dons (League Cup, 2011), QPR 2-4 MK Dons (FA Cup, 2013), MK Dons 4-0 Man Utd (League Cup, 2014) and Oxford 4-0 West Ham (League Cup, 2019). Manchester City have progressed from their last 12 League Cup ties against lower-league opponents since losing on penalties to Brighton in 2008/09 under Mark Hughes.
Everton vs Leicester City
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Wednesday, 18-12-2019 @10:45pm
Ref: Jonathan Moss
This is the first-ever meeting between Everton and Leicester City in the League Cup. Leicester have won three of their last five away matches in all competitions against Everton (W3 D0 L2), as many as they’d won in their previous 24 visits to Goodison Park beforehand. Everton are participating in only their third League Cup quarter-final in the Premier League era, progressing from the other two in 2007/08 against West Ham and 2015/16 against Middlesbrough. Leicester City are into their third League Cup quarter-final in as many seasons – they have lost on penalties in the previous two, both against Manchester City. The Foxes last reached the semi-final in the 1999/2000 campaign, going on to win the trophy. Everton haven’t won four consecutive League Cup matches since November 1986. Brendan Rodgers has progressed from 28 consecutive domestic cup ties (one with Liverpool, 24 with Celtic, three with Leicester), last failing in the FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool in April 2015 against Aston Villa. Everton are looking to eliminate two fellow top-flight teams in the same League Cup campaign for the first time since the 1986/87 season, when they eliminated Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday. Leicester forward Kelechi Iheanacho has been involved in nine goals in 12 League Cup appearances (6 goals, 3 assists), averaging a goal or assist every 80 minutes of play in the competition.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s availability “will go to the wire” after he missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United through illness, with the same applied to Djibril Sidibe. Lucas Digne (groin) will not be available and while Fabian Delph is nearing a return, he is not expected to be ready for the Leicester clash.
Oumar Niasse and Cuco Martina have returned to the matchday squad in recent games and could get more game minutes on Wednesday evening. Leicester have no new injury worries, with Matty James (Achilles) continuing to be a long-term absentee, but Rodgers will have an eye on Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City
Man United vs Colchester United
Old Trafford, Manchester
Wednesday, 18-12-2019 @11pm
Ref: David Coote
Paul Pogba’s comeback is set to be delayed due to illness. The Man Utd midfielder was expected to return to training this week after recovering from the ankle injury that has kept him out since September. Defender Diogo Dalot could make his first appearance since October, but Marcos Rojo, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Eric Bailly remain sidelined.
Courtney Senior is a doubt for Colchester after being substituted with a quad injury at half-time during their 2-2 draw against Scunthorpe United on Saturday. The 22-year-old, who has scored three goals so far this season, including one in the Carabao Cup, was replaced by Callum Harriott, although manager John McGreal said he hoped the problem wasn’t as bad as first feared.
This is only the third-ever meeting between Manchester United and Colchester United – the Red Devils won the other two, 1-0 in the FA Cup in 1979 and 2-0 in the League Cup in 1983. Colchester are set to play their first-ever away match against Man Utd in any competition – each of the last six English teams to play their first away game against the Red Devils have lost, most recently Crawley Town in 2011 – the last to win their first such game was Wimbledon in May 1987. Manchester United have been eliminated from three of their last five League Cup quarter-finals, losing most recently in 2017/18 against Bristol City. This is Colchester’s first appearance in the League Cup quarter-final since 1974/75, when they faced Aston Villa and lost 2-1. Their gap of 45 seasons between quarter-final appearances is the second-longest ever, behind only Cardiff City’s 46-season gap between 1965/66 and 2011/12. Manchester United have progressed from all 10 of their previous League Cup ties against fourth-tier opposition, most recently in October 2011 against Aldershot Town. Only one fourth-tier team has eliminated three top tier sides in one season, with Bradford City doing so in 2012/13 on their way to the final (Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa). Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has progressed from all four of his League Cup ties as a manager – two with Cardiff City in 2014/15 and two with Manchester United this season. Colchester are looking to become the first English side from outside the top-three tiers of English football to win away at Manchester United since Portsmouth in a January 1907 FA Cup first round replay – Pompey were then a non-league side.