MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 08:58:30
Jan 9, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
Attendance: 32,089
Man CityManchester City
9-0
Burton Albion
De Bruyne (5'), Jesus (30', 34', 57', 65'), Zinchenko (37'), Foden (62'), Walker (70'), Mahrez (83')
FT(HT: 4-0)

Preview: Manchester City vs. Burton Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Burton Albion.

Manchester City head into Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final with Burton Albion having recorded a 7-0 triumph over Championship outfit Rotherham United in the FA Cup.

Burton make the daunting trip to the Etihad Stadium sitting in ninth place in League One, but Nigel Clough's side can play under little pressure against the Premier League champions.


Manchester City

Pep Guardiola gives orders during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Liverpool on January 3, 2019© Reuters

Pep Guardiola would have feared that City's campaign was beginning to unravel after defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City, but the North-West giants have hit back with three successive wins in all competitions.

Victories over Southampton and Rotherham United were expected, but the hard-fought 2-1 success over Premier League rivals Liverpool can act as the catalyst for an improved second half of the season.

City are known for outclassing the majority of their opponents, but they showcased a different side of their game to reduce the gap on the leaders to just four points.

The switch in focus to the FA Cup and EFL Cup has come at the right time with Guardiola and his squad able to regroup ahead of the meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers next Monday, while City are also moving closer to having a fully-fit squad again.

There are still some concerns over Kevin De Bruyne, but the Belgian came through 67 minutes against Rotherham and appears to regaining his match sharpness after two spells out with a knee problem.

Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have both starred in his absence, but City are a different side with De Bruyne present, and Guardiola will want to hand the playmaker more minutes on Wednesday night.

The EFL Cup will feature last on Guardiola's list of priorities, but there will also be a desire to successfully defend the trophy that they lifted last February.

Oxford United, Fulham and Leicester have already been defeated, and it would take one of the biggest shocks in the history of English football for City to be denied a showdown with either Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea in the final.

Recent form (all competitions): DLLWWW


Burton Albion

Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough pictured on December 18, 2018© Reuters

Burton have not enjoyed the season which they would have hoped for after relegation from the Championship, but a fairytale run through to the last four of a domestic cup competition has lifted the mood at the Pirelli Stadium.

The Brewers endured a poor start to life in League One with four defeats coming from their opening five outings, and it left long-serving Clough fighting to keep his job at a club he rejoined in 2015.

However, Burton have been excellent in the EFL Cup, with the run starting with victory at Shrewsbury Town and continuing into the semi-finals with a narrow triumph away at Middlesbrough.

The standout wins came either side of those matches, with Aston Villa, Burnley and rivals Nottingham Forest all being defeated at their home ground.

The draws have been relatively kind to Clough and his players, but that should take nothing away from the performances which have provided Burton with the chance to test themselves against City.

Burton famously held Manchester United to a goalless draw in the FA Cup back in 2006, and the third-tier outfit may have preferred to play the first leg in front of their own supporters rather than making the trip to the Etihad.

Clough will be delighted with his side's form and preparations ahead of the contest, with eight points coming from their last four outings in League One.

A 4-0 win was recorded in the North-West against Rochdale at the weekend, but Clough would be left more than satisfied if his side can find a way to remain within one goal of City heading into the reverse fixture in two weeks.

Recent form (all competitions): WLWDDW


Team News

Kevin De Bruyne in action during the FA Cup third-round game between Manchester City and Rotherham United on January 6, 2019© Reuters

De Bruyne could be provided with another chance in the starting lineup after being replaced midway through the second half against Rotherham.

Guardiola named a strong side for that fixture, but the Spaniard is likely to make a number of changes with Arijanet Muric replacing Ederson between the sticks.

Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva are also expected to start having remained as unused substitutes at the weekend, while Danilo and Vincent Kompany should be named in the defence.

Fabian Delph is back after suspension and could play at left-back, Phil Foden is in line for another outing in midfield, and Sergio Aguero should get the nod over Gabriel Jesus.

Stephen Quinn is expected to play for Burton despite a minor groin problem, while John Brayford is available after being rested for the trip to Rochdale.

Kyle McFadzean could feature on the bench, but Marvin Sordell is expected to miss out due to a setback in training after a knee problem.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Muric; Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva, Foden, Mahrez; Aguero

Burton Albion possible starting lineup:
Collins; Brayford, Buxton, Turner, Hutchinson; Fraser, Quinn, Allen, Myers-Harness, Akins; Boyce


Head To Head

Wednesday's game will represent the first-ever competitive clash between the two clubs.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Manchester City 5-0 Burton Albion

Man City will be looking to put the tie out of Burton's reach ahead of the second leg, and it would come as a surprise if Guardiola's team do not run riot against the Staffordshire outfit. Burton have enjoyed a memorable run to this stage, but this should prove to be a game too far.


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Who will win Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Burton Albion?

Manchester City
Draw
Burton Albion
Manchester City
80.0%
Draw
5.6%
Burton Albion
14.4%
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 21, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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