Former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater is expecting a “spicy” tie between Manchester City and Manchester United, when the sides meet for a place in the Carabao Cup Final on Wednesday, and he’s hoping for a fourth-consecutive Carabao Cup for Pep Guardiola and City this season.
City are bidding to win the competition for a fourth consecutive season in 2020/21 and will be the favourites to progress to the Final, but they’ll have to get past their in-form rivals and five-time winners Manchester United first.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the EFL ahead of the game, Goater is looking forward to watching his old club take on their Manchester neighbours, and although it'll be a tough test, “serial winner” Pep Guardiola has what it takes to progress to this year’s Final.
“I’m not at all surprised to see them in another Semi-Final,” Goater said.
“Pep Guardiola takes this competition very seriously, he’s won it three times since being at City and he’ll be wanting to win it again. He’s a serial winner, but the game against Manchester United will be very tough.”
The former striker says he admires the job Guardiola has done, as well as his approach to the competition, one which has brought great success to City in recent years.
He also believes the Carabao Cup represents a special trophy that each of the remaining Clubs - especially City - will have their eyes on.
“It’s a trophy that means a lot to Pep and the club," he continued.
"But it’s also a trophy that the players can celebrate and it’s amazing the confidence that winning a trophy can give to players. To know that you’ve got a trophy in the bag before the league season is over is really important.
“I think a lot of managers have looked at Pep in this competition, seen how often he’s won it since his arrival to England and thought, ‘why shouldn’t we do that?’ He’s educated English football with the way that he plays and he wants to win every competition.
“As for the players, you want to win and these are the occasions that you remember, no matter where you come from. Trophies are so important, it doesn't matter what that trophy it is."
One player Goater has been increasingly impressed with is last year’s Carabao Cup Final Man of the Match, Phil Foden, who despite being just 20 years of age continues to impress in all competitions for the club.
"The world is at Phil Foden’s feet,” Goater said.
"I think he can really go all the way. I can see him standing on the podium and being on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.
"I know that’s a huge thing to say about someone still so young, but he has this quality about him, and what I like about him is the energy he brings, the constant goal threat he brings - whether that’s scoring or assisting - and as a midfielder these are great qualities.
“He can play anywhere and he will play anywhere. I can really see his future as being one of the best in the world, he’s phenomenal for someone so young and I genuinely think in four or five years he could challenge for the Ballon d’or, he’s got that much potential."
As for the results on Wednesday, he’s hoping for a Manchester City win in what he says will be a “spicy” tie.
"Obviously with my blue hat on, I want to see City win the competition again, but Manchester United are a club that, when in a Semi-Final, they know how to advance and they know how to win competitions.
"It’ll be a spicy tie but the outcome of the game I think will largely depend on Guardiola and his tactics."