Preview: Bristol City v Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United

Bristol City will believe they can cause an upset by knocking reigning champions Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup when the two sides clash in the second set of quarter-finals on Wednesday.

League Cup
20 December 2017
Kick-off 22:00 CET
Venue: Ashton Gate Stadium
Referee: M. Dean
Assistants: S. Long, I. Hussin
Fourth official: G. Scott

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM            MATCHES  WIN   DRAW   LOSS

Bristol City                  18   3      6      9
Manchester United     18   9      6      3

Previous encounter:

Manchester United 4-0 Bristol City 23/02/1980 (First Division)

Manchester United goalscorers: Joe Jordan (2), Sammy McIlroy, Geoff Merrick (OG)

Players to watch:

While Romelu Lukaku has been on the end of some fierce criticism from fans, manager Jose Mourinho has kept faith in the Belgian striker, who has scored 10 goals in 18 games this season, including the winner in a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth ahead of a goal in the 2-1 win over West Brom last time out.

Bristol City have goalscorers all over the field, with midfielder Bobby Reid on 10 from 22 games while Aden Flint has weighed in with six goals from defence.

Striker Jamie Paterson, meanwhile, may fancy his chances of adding to his four goals as he celebrates his 26th birthday playing against the team his entire family supports, this with fellow striker Famara Diedhiou (five from 15) out injured.

Team form and quotes:

United defeated Burton Albion and Swansea City to secure their place in the League Cup quarter-finals, having won the competition last season, beating Southampton 3-2 in the final.

They head into this match in second place on the Premier League standings, and on the back of a 2-1 defeat of West Brom, and a record of seven wins and three defeats in their last 10 games in all competitions.

Ahead of this game, United boss Jose Mourinho said he is taking the tie seriously against a very strong side.

He told the club's official website: "I am making a few changes for the match, but not many because Bristol City are one of the best teams in the Championship.

"For me now, the Championship is not the Championship of five or 10 years ago. The Championship is now high-quality teams with lots of players that could be playing in the Premier League easily. 

"So we need to take the game really seriously. I am going to make a few changes and it is possible Micki [Henrikh Mkhitaryan] is involved.”

City, meanwhile, who were knocked out of the League Cup at the fourth round last season to Hull City, have beaten Plymouth Argyle, Watford, Stoke City and Crystal Palace to earn their quarter-final spot.

And Robins boss Lee Johnson revealed his excitement ahead of what is a massive game for the club.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day for the fans,” he told his club's website.

“Our supporters deserve this. We had a bad run last year and it wasn’t much fun; it was more of a stress.

“This season has been more fun and this game epitomises that.”

He added: "We have to try and find a chink in their armour. Maybe if they do play a few players who haven’t featured for some time then it will be enough for us to get the foot in the door."

Team news:

Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return for United after last playing against Brighton in November.

Sergio Romero could replace David De Gea in goal, and while Antonio Valencia (hamstring) is unlikely to play, and Nemanja Matic may be rested, Paul Pogba is back from a three-game ban.

Famara Diedhiou, Callum O'Dowda and Eros Pisano are all sidelined for City. 

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