With a Wembley final against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham at stake, United and City go head to head at Old Trafford in a one-legged semi-final where it is winner takes all.
Solskjaer is aiming to win the first trophy of his time as United manager, while Pep Guardiola - who lifted this trophy in 2018, 2019 and 2020 - has seen success in this competition as a valuable mid-season shot in the arm for his City squad.
Solskjaer may have initially been tempted to give some of his key players such as Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire a breather following a gruelling festive fixture schedule. However, United’s form and relative lack of injury problems means the Norwegian sticks to the core which has pulled them level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool - though Dean Henderson starts in goal ahead of David de Gea.
Donny van de Beek is in need of minutes, but has failed to get any since his last outing in the Carabao Cup quarter-final win at Everton before Christmas and is on the bench again here.
Victor Lindelof is back from a back injury and starts alongside Maguire.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka plays at right-back in order to track City’s runners, while Luke Shaw is on the left.
In midfield, Fred and Scott McTominay play behind Paul Pogba and Fernandes.
With Edinson Cavani suspended, Anthony Martial and Rashford start with Mason Greenwood on the bench.
Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo remain sidelined by injury, though neither would have started regardless.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Martial
Substitutes: De Gea, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, Matic, Mata, James, Van de Beek, Greenwood