Major events

Here’s a reminder of what happened in the first leg of the other semi-final last night. A much more eventful game than its 0-1 scoreline might suggest.

Erik ten Haag talks to Sky. “It’s great to play games like this. A lot of attention from everyone around at the club, everyone is excited, the fans especially but also the players. You get the feeling: they want to go to the final. This is a great game. We have a strong team tonight. We have to win this game. We have to do everything to win this game. Our players have experience playing the big game.

He also reported that Luke Shaw is ill, and it’s “hard to say” if he’ll be back for the weekend.

A beautiful moment on Sky as host Mark Chapman, after quizzing Roy Keane about his time at Forest, remarked that “every ex-player who played under Brian Clough seems capable of his influence”, and let it go. the wind Ken remains silent for a full comedic beat—and I won’t insult your intelligence by describing his facial expression—before he answers. “I won’t.” Then a quick pantomime glance at the camera before an overly amused smile played around the corner of his mouth. “I wouldn’t be very good at it. I wouldn’t disrespect him like that.” Tinder-dry comedy.You’d pay good money to be a fly on the wall at City Ground circa 1992, wouldn’t you?

Steve Cooper speaks to Sky Sports. “We have to get the balance right. We have to respect that we are playing Manchester United. We have to play with good ambition, good intentions, this is a semi-final, it doesn’t come often. We’re not the team we want to be yet. There are many things that we need to improve. But we have made some progress. If there’s ever a time that we think we’re doing good enough, it won’t be for me, we’ve got to fight harder. We played United away just after Christmas, and we weren’t good enough on the night. We didn’t give a good impression of ourselves and we didn’t like that, so we talked about it.

Forest made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Bournemouth last weekend. are Scott McKenna, Danilo and Sam Surridge; Orel Mangala drops to the bench, Ryan Yates is ill, and Chris Wood is cup-tied. On-loan Dean Henderson remains injured, although he was ineligible against his parent club.

United have made three changes to the starting XI selected for their 3-2 defeat at Arsenal. At the back, Tyrrell Malacia and Victor Lindelof replace Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane, while in midfield Casemiro returns from suspension to replace Scott McTominay.

Teams

Nottingham Forest: Hennessey, Aurier, Worrall, McKenna, Lodi, Danilo, Freuler, Johnson, Gibbs-White, Scarpa, Surridge.
Subs: Smith, Cook, Mangala, Williams, Colback, Lingard, O’Brien, Dennis, Boley.

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Malacia, Fernandes, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Weighorst, Rashford.
Subs: Heaton, Fred, Varane, Pellistri, Williams, Elanga, McTominay, Grenache, Mainoo.

Preface

Nottingham Forest have won the competition four times; Manchester United five. For both clubs, their last success in the League Cup is also the last major domestic trophy they have won, with Forest beating Oldham Athletic in the 1990 final, while United played for Southampton in 2017. In terms of subsequent projections and co-expectations, it’s been a long time coming. Drought for both. Who gets the chance to quench their thirst at Wembley next month? We are two steps away from finding out. Stage one starts at 8pm GMT. It’s active!



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