The Big Match Preview: Burton Albion vs Manchester City

A fortnight after the 9-0 victory over League One Burton Albion, Manchester City travel to the Pirelli Stadium for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Pep Guardiola had sent out a strong team in the first leg, with the intention of getting the job done and have the fixture wrapped up after the first 90 minutes and was largely successful. In his pre-match press conference, Guardiola was keen to point out that as many as six youngsters may play a part on Wednesday evening. In fact, it was said that Guardiola was disappointed at the scheduling of the Checkatrade Trophy match between Sunderland and Manchester City’s U21 on Tuesday night as it would limit the number of young players available to train and travel with the first team. Some good news came to light in Pep Guardiola’s pre-match press conference in that Benjamin Mendy is back with the Manchester City squad following his injury and will travel with the rest of the side to the Pirelli Stadium. Guardiola also tipped the French international to have an impact on the second half of the season, with City finally having their specialist left-back available, having played Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko in that position to varying levels of success. “I miss him a lot,” he said. “He can give us ‘extra’ in the last part of the season.”
Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League
Return of the Shark – Benjamin Mendy confirmed to have returned to involvement with the first team squad.
Guardiola also confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will play in the game with the former still on the path back to full fitness and wanting to get back into the rhythm of playing multiple games a week. Young goalkeeper Aro Muric will get another chance to showcase his talent in a competition that he has been ever-present in. “He has incredible potential as a goalkeeper. He can show how good he is tomorrow,” Guardiola said. However, Vincent Kompany, the date of whose return is still unclear, was ruled out. Also ruled out from the match tomorrow is Eliaquim Mangala with Guardiola saying, “I don’t know what his situation is in the transfer window. He’s training with us the last few days but he’s not going to play tomorrow.” Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough knows that the competitive nature of the fixture has gone but he is still keen that the players enjoy themselves and was quick to remind everyone of the sizeable achievement of even being involved in the semi-finalfixture has gone but he is still keen that the players enjoy themselves and was quick to remind everyone of the sizeable achievement of even being involved in the semi-final. “The likelihood of us ever making the second leg competitive was very slim. When they come here and take a look around and see the stadium and the club, hopefully, they will be unable to comprehend how a club of our size has made it to a major cup semi-final. “I saw a statistic on the TV recently that had our budget at £8 million. If you took 30 per cent of that then you might be nearer the actual figure. We didn’t have a budget of £8 million when we were in the Championship.”Manchester City v Burton Albion - Carabao Cup Semi Final: First Leg With Pep Guardiola hinting at a lot of the starting players, it is not too tough to take a guess at the starting team. Aro Muric will be in goal with the likely centre-back pairing of Eric Garcia and Nicolas Otamendi. Luke Bolton could play at right back with Zinchenko the defender on the opposite flank. A midfield trio of Phillipe Sandler or Fabian Delph in defensive midfield, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden can also be expected. Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus should be getting starts in the front line, but with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane both due a rest, as well as the fact that they might be needed in the FA Cup tie against Burnley, a spot opens up on the left side of the front line which may be taken up by a youngster such as Ian Carlo Poveda or even Rabbi Matondo, who has recently been strongly linked with a big move to German giants Bayern Munich. You can see City Xtra’s predicted lineup by clicking here. I personally don’t expect to see Manchester City play with their usual fluency considering that it is going to be a largely weakened team, however there will be enough firepower to break through the Burton defensive line and I expect a 1-3 away victory with the final aggregate score being Burton Albion 1-12 Manchester City. You can follow our twitter page for more Manchester City content: @City_Xtra You can also follow Manan on twitter here: @MananMonga

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