What's happening at United this week?
Happy New Year! This week marks the return to work and education - lockdown permitting - for millions of Manchester United fans around the world after the Christmas holidays. But for the manager and players, it's merely a continuation of the graft that has continued throughout the festive season.
Now United will switch focus to where we left off just two days before Christmas, with a midweek Carabao Cup tie. And our reward for getting through that quarter-final at Everton, aided by our Goal of the Month scored by Edinson Cavani, is a home semi-final this Wednesday evening against our local rivals and the competition's perennial recent winners, Manchester City.
That fixture will closely be followed by our first venture into the other domestic knockout tournament, the Emirates FA Cup, as we'll be hosting Watford in the third round on Saturday night.
As many of our supporters enter their home offices or classrooms for the first time in 2021, the Reds will be out on the training pitch with just two days to go until that tantalising derby clash with City in the Carabao Cup. There could also be some analysis of the opposition with the Blues' impressive 3-1 away win over another 'big six' side, Chelsea, in the Premier League yesterday afternoon providing Ole and his staff with a fresh video to pore over.
Meanwhile, as it's Monday, a brand new episode of UTD Podcast will be released. Featuring the effervescent former United and Wales star Mickey Thomas, it will be available for you to stream or download via the usual platforms from 17:00 GMT.
On the eve of the semi-final, we'll anticipate some team news from the manager, although few people in the red corner would complain if he chooses to keep his cards close to his chest. Except, perhaps, for fans trying to win prizes by guessing his line-up in our Official App's United Predictions game! One clue we can give you is that Cavani won't be involved as he serves the second part of a three-match suspension. Ole's pre-match press conference, at a time to be confirmed, will be streamed in full on ManUtd.com and in the App.
It's matchday! The Carabao Cup semi-final at Old Trafford begins at 20:00 GMT and will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports. Ahead of kick-off, we'll be showing two interviews with Ole - an in-depth Q&A from the Aon Training Complex in the morning and then a quick pitchside chat in the evening. The all-important team news will be announced at 19:00 GMT and, as usual, we'll have live match updates and data on ManUtd.com and in the Official App as the Reds bid to reach the final for the first time since 2017. Meanwhile MUTV offers exclusive build-up, expert analysis and live radio commentary.
We'll also be wishing United Women defender Kirsty Smith a happy birthday, as the Scotland international turns 27.
As the dust settles on the semi-final, we'll be bringing you further reaction from the United players and giving you the opportunity to assess the action again by watching our short or extended match highlights. But win or lose, there won't be a huge amount of time to dwell on the outcome as we start to look forward to the weekend and another cup game, at home to Watford. The players, meanwhile, will be resting, recovering or training as normal, depending on their level of involvement against City.
While some people will be winding down at the end of the working week, we'll be winding up with a busy one as Ole previews the Watford game with another pre-match press conference that you can watch in full on ManUtd.com and in the Official App via our live video stream.
It's matchday again, although daylight will have been and gone by the time our players square up to Watford on the hallowed turf at Old Trafford. The Emirates FA Cup third-round tie will kick off at 20:00 GMT and be shown on BT Sport in the UK, while ManUtd.com and the Official App provide live updates and MUTV offers radio commentary on the action.
Our women's team are set to return to action after a long break - the away game against Everton, scheduled for 13:00 GMT, will be the first fixture for Casey Stoney's Reds since the convincing 6-1 victory over Bristol City Women on Sunday 20 December. That result kept us at the top of the Women's Super League, with a four-point lead over Arsenal, although third-placed Chelsea could catch up if they win their two games in hand. Title race, anyone?
Meanwhile, the 15th anniversary of Patrice Evra's signing in the January transfer window would be a great reason to listen to the legendary left-back's incredible episode of UTD Podcast once again.