For the second game running, Manchester City host lower-league opposition at the Etihad Stadium, giving Pep Guardiola another opportunity to rotate his side during a busy month for the blues.
With a strong starting XI defeating Rotherham United 7-0 at the weekend, the temptation is there to go for a similarly strong outfit to seal Manchester City’s place at Wembley in the first leg. However, Guardiola may feel that it would only be right to continue starting the players that have got City in this position.
Aro Muric is a certain starter with the Kosovan starting every League Cup fixture so far this campaign. His heroics at Leicester City in the previous round will give Pep Guardiola extra trust in the 20-year-old going into this semi-final.
In central defence, Eric Garcia may get the nod after not only missing out on Manchester City’s thumping of Rotherham at the weekend but also not featuring in the U21s dramatic victory at Rochdale last night in the Checkatrade Trophy. Nicolas Otamendi could be set to partner the teenager to form the same pairing that featured at the King Power Stadium in the previous round. Oleksandr Zinchenko will almost certainly feature at left-back with the struggle for numbers in this position continuing, whilst at right-back, Danilo may return to the side simply to rest the somewhat out-of-favour Kyle Walker, after his involvement at the weekend.
Phil Foden is also set to start the second game running after his impressive involvement in the FA Cup. Fabian Delph, returning from his three-match suspension may be utilised in a central role alongside Kevin De Bruyne.
After making his Manchester City debut at the weekend, Philippe Sandler is unlikely to feature again at the Etihad after his involvement in last night’s Checkatrade Trophy fixture. The attacking three should consist of Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and potentially Leroy Sane, after Raheem Sterling replaced the German in the FA Cup – a switch between the two is very likely.
City Xtra’s Predicted Starting XI and Substitutes: