Bristol City host Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, in what will be the two team’s first encounter since 1980. Bristol boss Lee Johnson has called for his players to replicate the efforts of the Bristol City side that beat Liverpool in the FA Cup in 1994 thanks to a Brian Tinnion winner.
The Robins go into the game in excellent form having won their last four matches, sitting third in the Championship and four points adrift from the automatic promotion spots. In reaching the quarter-finals Bristol have seen off Premier League sides Watford, Stoke and Crystal Palace and will give a much-changed United side a far from easy game.
United also enter the game in a good run of form having won four of their last five games, with Lukaku scoring in their last two to take his tally for the season to 15.
Bristol City loan duo Cauley Woodrow and Jonathan Leko are both cup tied, while full-back Eros Pisano remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. Centre-forward Famara Diedhiou is also a doubt with a knee injury.
Mourinho’s United are bolstered in midfield by the return of Paul Pogba following his suspension for a stamp on Hector Bellerin. They are, however, without defensive pair Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo.
What time does it start?
Bristol City vs Manchester United is at 20:00 on Wednesday 20 December.
Where can I watch it?
The game will be shown on Sky Sports Main Event, with coverage starting at 19:30.
It’s a big game for…
Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian playmaker started the season with a bang, assisting five in his first three starts, though has failed to make a telling contribution for United since scoring against Everton in mid-September. An alarming loss of form has seen him omitted from United’s match-day squads for eight of their past nine fixtures, however Mourinho has confirmed that he will give Mkhitaryan a start against the Robins.
Suggestions that the attacker may return to former club Borussia Dortmund in January has grown amidst reports of a rift between the player and Mourinho. Taking the lifeline offered to him by his manager may help to ease speculation surrounding his future at the club.
Should Bristol City beat United they will become only the second lower league side to have knocked out four top-flight sides in a League Cup campaign, with Sheffield Wednesday managing the feat in 1990-91.
Player to watch…
Bobby Reid. Having had loans with Cheltenham Town, Oldham Athletic and Plymouth Argyle, the attacking midfielder has had to be patient at Bristol City but is now one of the first names on the team sheet and is rumoured to be attracting interest from a host of clubs. Offering a potent goal threat from midfield, Reid is Bristol’s top scorer this season with 11 goals to his name.
Previous three meetings…
Manchester United 4 Bristol City 0, League Division One, 23rd February 1980
Bristol City 1 Manchester United 1, League Division One, 13th October 1979
Bristol City 1 Manchester United 2, League Division One, 3rd March 1979
Bristol City: LWWWW
Manchester United: WWLWW
Bristol City: 11/2
Manchester United: 1/2
Bristol City are the top scorers in the Carabao Cup this season and will certainly attack Mourinho’s side, however United’s quality should see them over the line.
Bristol City 1 Manchester United 2