MATCHDAY: Manchester derby in cup semi; Milan hosts Juventus

A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Wednesday:

ENGLAND

Manchester City looks to reach the League Cup final for the fifth time in the last six years by beating fierce rival Manchester United at Old Trafford. The winner of the second semifinal will meet Tottenham in the final at Wembley Stadium on April 25. City beat United in the semifinals last season and went on to win the competition for the fourth straight year. Another title would move City level with Liverpool on eight. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to have got the measure of City, though, leading his team to three wins and a draw in five meetings since the start of last season. United hasn’t won a trophy since 2017 and lost in the semifinals in three competitions — the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League — last season.

ITALY

Serie A leader AC Milan faces the biggest test of its title credentials when it hosts nine-time defending champion Juventus. Juventus is struggling under first-time coach Andrea Pirlo — who played for Milan for 10 seasons — and is fifth, 10 points behind its opponent although it has played a match less. Milan is still without a number of players through injury, including key forward Zlatan Ibrahimović. Inter Milan will have a close eye on the match as it is just a point behind its city rival and visits Sampdoria. Roma and Napoli are the other teams in the top four and they play Crotone and Spezia respectively. Both those teams are in the bottom three, along with Genoa, which visits high-flying Sassuolo. Torino managed to crawl out of the relegation zone on Sunday but is level on points with two of the teams immediately below it and hosts Hellas Verona. All 20 Serie A teams are in action and it is also: Atalanta vs. Parma, Lazio vs. Fiorentina, Cagliari vs. Benevento and Bologna vs. Udinese.

FRANCE

The league resumes with Mauricio Pochettino taking charge of his first game as Paris Saint-Germain coach, away to lowly Saint-Etienne. Pochettino replaced Thomas Tuchel, who was fired late last month as PSG headed into the winter break in the unfamiliar position of sitting in third place and having lost four league games. Pochettino, who led Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019 before himself getting sacked, has eight players missing through injury — including Neymar. PSG is one point behind Lille and league leader Lyon, which is ahead of goal difference but will be missing forward Karl Toko Ekambi for the home game against Lens. He is recovering from the coronavirus. Lille, which hosts Angers, has also been hit by COVID 19 cases with winger Luiz Araujo and attacking midfielder Yusuf Yazici both catching it.

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