Tonight, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola lock horns for the second time since they both arrived in Manchester to the waving of palm branches and songs of praise this summer.
Back in September, Guardiola’s City were on the crest of a wave and, despite Claudio Bravo’s desperate attempts to sabotage their performance, swamped the Red Devils in a 2-1 win which was far more convincing than the scoreline suggests.
However, since then, both teams have been on a downward trajectory.
City have gone five games without a win – the first time for Pep since 2009 – and United’s performances have been totally inconsistent. One minute, nullifying the significant threat of Philippe Coutinho et al at Anfield and the next being destroyed by that well-known attacker N’Golo Kante at Chelsea in a 4-0 thrashing.
So, with both “Messiahs” at a crossroads, the EFL Cup game tonight takes on new importance.
But is anyone actually bothered?