Two teams, neighbours, arch-rivals, who have had completely different starts to their domestic football league season this time around. Manchester City and Manchester United. While Pep Guardiola's side are on top of the Premier League table at the moment, bagging wins after another, Jose Mourinho's United are slumping owing to defeats.
The 4-0 thrashing of United by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday was a nightmare for Mourinho and Co, but life has to move on. "I am 100 per cent for Manchester United. Because of that, I feel deeply about the situation. But there is only one answer: training, and keep fighting," mentioned the experienced Portuguese football manager.
EFL Cup or the League Cup will give the Red Devils a different platform now, however, to shine and try forget the result of last weekend. Be it any competition, the Manchester derby is a special occasion and both managers are aware of that. "Derbies are always special. We are going to try to play seriously and try to win the game," Guardiola mentioned.
This is the second Manchester derby of the season so far. The first one took place in the Premier League in September and City came out on top at Old Trafford. Can there be a repeat at the theatre of dreams? That remains to be seen.
Man City: Kevin de Bruyne and Pablo Zabaleta are ruled out owing to injuries, but skipper Vincent Kompany could play a part in the game.
Man Utd: Eric Bailly is unavailable owing to a knee injury, while there is also a question mark over the participation of Wayne Rooney and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Manchester Derby EFL Cup schedule
Date: October 26.
Time: 8 pm BST (12:30 am IST [Thursday]).
Venue: Old Trafford.
TV guide: Ten Network (India), Sky Sports, Now TV (UK).