Jan 29, 2023
We look at the two second leg fixtures of the Carabao Cup semi-finals, where Newcastle host Southampton, and Man United welcome Nottingham Forest.
Newcastle v Southampton
Newcastle’s last game was against their opponents in this one, where they played out a 1-0 at St Marys, giving them a good lead to build on, or hold onto, in the second leg.
Newcastle did well to beat cup specialists Southampton, but Eddie Howe was quick to point out to his side that it is only ‘half-time’ in the tie, in attempt to not let complacency creep in.
It was an even game at St Marys, with both sides not mustering a plethora of chances on goal. Joelinton took the lead for Newcastle with around 15 minutes to go, and shortly after they were saved by VAR, ruling Armstrong’s equaliser out for handball.
Newcastle’s remaining few minutes were made easier by Caleta-Car being sent off for his second bookable offence. A 1-0 win away from home will please Newcastle, as it relieves some of the pressure going into the second leg.
Southampton will feel aggrieved by that loss, and they will feel that they deserved something out of the game, which is hard to argue.
They had the chance to put this loss behind them with a fourth-round FA Cup game at home to Championship strugglers Blackpool.
However, for long parts of the game, the contest was even, which may worry some of the Southampton faithful. Two soft goals were conceded by Blackpool which made Southampton’s job a lot easier, but Blackpool had their chances to get something out of the game.
If Southampton have any hopes of Premier League survival, or making the Carabao Cup final, they need to step their game up.
I think the 1-0 win for Newcastle in the first leg will allow them to play their own game at home. They will set up to be hard to beat, whilst playing their own, brilliant, attacking game. Southampton will need to go all out, and this should leave a lot of space for Newcastle to counter.
Prediction: Newcastle 2 – 0 Southampton
Man United v Nottingham Forest
Man United won the first leg of this tie comfortably, against a spirited Forest side who were in good form going into the game. Marcus Rashford continued his run of form with an early goal, and Sam Surridge had a goal disallowed after 23 minutes for an offside.
United then took control of the tie just before half-time, with Wout Weghorst getting his first goal since signing for the club, with Bruno Fernandes capping off a good team performance with a goal in the 89th minute.
This result puts United firmly in the driving seat coming into the second leg, and with one foot already in the final, they may rotate and give some of their fringe, or youth players, a chance to impress.
United chose not to rest their first team players when they welcomed Reading in the FA Cup a few days later, where they ran out 3-1 winners thanks to a brace from Casemiro, and a Fred goal.
Nottingham Forest will be disappointed with how the first leg went. They had the advantage playing at home first, and more than matched United at stages in the game. Had their goal midway through the first half stood, we could have had a completely different outcome.
It will take a lot for Forest to get a result here. 3-0 down, away from home, against an inform team. They make take this game easy, if they throw themselves forward to get themselves back into the tie then they will be picked off far too easily.
I think this tie is already over. Even if Forest score early to make it 3-1, I think United have enough about themselves under ten Haag to stop themselves from throwing the tie away. Another comfortable home win here.
Prediction: Man United 2 – 0 Nottingham Forest
The final will be played on the 26th of February, with the fixture being played at the home of English football, Wembley.