In what would be one of the most anticipated finals in recent years, Manchester City could face Manchester United for the League Cup in March.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side eased to a 3-1 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night, Aleksandar Kolarov and a double from Edin Dzeko finishing off the Championship side before the hour mark.
24 hours later, neighbours United also made progress into the last four, when Ashley Young and Patrice Evra grabbed second half goals to defeat Stoke City at a windswept and rain-battered Britannia Stadium.
Both were joined in the last four by Sunderland, who stunned Chelsea in extra time on Tuesday night, and West Ham United, who recorded a second win of the season at White Hart Lane to defeat Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
The draw was made following the climax of the quarter-finals, and David Moyes and United will face Gus Poyet’s Black Cats, whilst City take on Samuel Allardyce’s Hammers in the two-legged semi-finals in January.
The Manchester clubs will undoubtedly start their respective ties as favourites to progress to the Wembley final, and set up a first-ever cup final between the two. The last time they met in the competition was at the last-four stage in 2010, when United came from behind to edge their rivals 4-3 on aggregate.
The Reds went on to lift the trophy that season, beating Aston Villa in the final, which was the fourth time they have added the honour to their cabinet. It is the only domestic trophy which evaded Roberto Mancini during his tenure at City, and Pellegrini will hope to succeed were the Italian failed; and if he does so, it will be the third time the Blues have won it and the first time since 1976.
Of course, there is always the possibility of a Sunderland v West Ham final. The Stadium of Light club lost their only appearance in the final to Norwich City in 1985, whilst the Londoners were runners-up to West Bromwich Albion in 1966, and again lost out in 1981, this time to Liverpool in a replay at Villa Park.