Michael Carrick denies Manchester United will lack motivation compared to Manchester City in Wembley's FA Cup semi-final derby showdown at Wembley tomorrow.

It will be City's first appearance at this stage of the competition since 1981 and the Blues have not won anything of note for 35 years. Compare that to United, who are still gunning for a treble, earlier this week booked their fourth Champions League semi-final appearance in five years and are aiming to reach their 11th FA Cup final since City last graced that stage.

"As we are all aware, the challenge for Manchester City is to win trophies, because they haven't done it for a while," said Carrick. "Over the years, this club has been very successful at that. But there are a lot of players at United who have not won the FA Cup and that is something we want to put right."


 

Given the weeks endured by the respective camps, it would be a major surprise to some if City were to come out on top. The Blues are reeling from the loss of skipper Carlos Tevez to a hamstring injury sustained in the middle of their worst performance of the season at Liverpool on Monday.

In contrast, United are hitting form at exactly the right time.

For months Ferguson's team have been dismissed as a pale imitation of old Red Devils outfits.

Yet they managed to reach the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday without needing to call on Dimitar Berbatov or Paul Scholes and with only a minimal contribution from Antonio Valencia.

All three are expected to be in Ferguson's starting line-up this weekend and it would be no surprise if the Scot made more substantial alterations as he tries to keep his squad fresh and on top form for the challenges that lie ahead.

"I don't know what the secret is," admitted Carrick. "The manager knows how to plan his season I suppose. He picks players at the right time. A lot of the lads are hitting good form at the right time, myself included.

"There is still a way to go but at this time of year it is a good sign when games are coming thick and fast. We want big games in different competitions. That is what we have at the moment and momentum can be very important at this time of year."

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