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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, January 9th 2018

Big Match Preview: Manchester City away (Carabao Cup SFL1)

Only the Premier League's Manchester City stand between Bristol City and a place in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Lee Johnson's Robins travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on Pep Guardiola's City for the first leg of the semi final tonight.

It is the first time the two sides have met for ten seasons.

Bristol City have already beaten four Premier League teams en route to the semi finals - can they make it five?


Formed: 1880 (re-established as Manchester City in 1894).
Nickname: City, Citizens, Sky Blues 
Twitter: @ManCity
Ground: Etihad Stadium
Capacity: 55,097

Football League First Division / Premier League:  1936/37, 1967/68, 2011/12, 2013/14
Football League Second Division / Championship: 1898/99, 1902/03, 1909/10, 1927/28, 1946/47, 1965/66, 2001/02
FA Cup: 1904, 1934, 1956, 1969, 2011
League Cup: 1970, 1976, 2014, 2016
FA Charity Shield: 1937, 1968, 1972, 2012
European Cup Winners' Cup: 1970

Last season:
League finish: 3rd
FA Cup: Semi-final, lost to Arsenal
EFL Cup: Fourth round, lost to Manchester United
Top scorer: Sergio Aguero, 33 goals
Average attendance: 54,019


High-flying Manchester City, one of the most successful sides of the modern era, take on City having lost just once of their 32 matches played so far this season.

And as the season reaches its halfway point, they are on course to match Arsenal's 2003/04 achievement of going an entire league campaign unbeaten.

But a place in the Carabao Cup final arrives first as they come up against City, who have proved themselves to be no pushovers for Premier League sides this year.

Manchester City's route to the Carabao Cup semi-finals has included victories over West Brom (2-1), Wolves (0-0, 4-1 on penalties) and Leicester City (1-1, 4-3 on penalties).

Can Pep Guardiola conquer the top league in England?

MEET THE GAFFER: Pep Guardiola

He did it all with European giants Barcelona and Bayern Munich but can he crack the Premier League with Manchester City?

Considering the way he has led the Citizens to the top of the league this year suggests he can.

Former defensive midfielder Guardiola, considered one of the best players of his generation, entered management in 2007; two years after he retired from the sport.

He spent five, title-filled years with Barcelona, which included back-to-back La Liga trophies, lifting the Copa Del Rey and UEFA Champions League titles.

He followed this up with three seasons at Bayern Munich, where he won a trio of Bundesliga trophies, the UEFA Super Cup and added another FIFA Club World Cup title to his collection.

It's no wonder he has achieved numerous personal accolades, including European and domestic Coach of the Year awards as well as the FIFA World Coach of the Year gong.

He endured a trophyless campaign in 2016/17 - his first season in English football - but has taken each competition by storm this year. Can he go an entire league campaign without defeat? What about the quadruple? Not if Lee Johnson has anything to say about it.

One to watch: Kevin De Bruyne

STAR MAN: Kevin De Bruyne

While City ooze world-class talent in abundance, Kevin De Bruyne is one man who certainly pulls the City strings.

He is expected to be match-fit when the Robins travel to the Etihad Stadium for Tuesday night's clash and is certainly one to be watched.

The Belgian international has proved himself a dangerman, whether that be inside or outside the box and he;s more than happy to find the net himself or set up others.

In fact, De Bruyne has six Premier League goals to his name as well as a league best of nine assists.

Bradley Orr celebrates his goal against Sven's men


Bristol City 1-2 Manchester City
Goals: Orr 69; Mpenza 17, Bianchi 81.

It was in the third round of this cup competition a decade ago that these two clubs last met, with Man City proving to be the winners on the day.

Emile Mpenza's powerful finish gave the visitors the lead but City fought back in an improved second half through Bradley Orr's close range finish.

Rolando Bianchi drilled home from the edge of the penalty area with nine minutes remaining to restore the lead for the Citizens, who were managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Michael McIndoe had a backheeled goal ruled out for offside at the death, as Manchester City survived an almighty scare to reach round four and secure their first-ever win in BS3.

City: Weale, Orr (Jevons 86), Carey, Fontaine, McAllister, McIndoe, Johnson, Elliott, Brian Wilson (Sproule 52), Murray, Trundle. Subs not used: Basso, Skuse, Vasko.

Man City: Hart, Jihai, Corluka, Onuoha, Ball, Logan, Ireland, Gelson, Geovanni (Dabo 82), Mpenza, Bianchi (Dickov 89). Subs not used: Schmeichel, Mills, Laird.

Attendance: 14,541.


Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistant Referees: Lee Betts and Marc Perry
Fourth Official: Lee Mason

Betting (via Sky Bet)
Man City: 1/8
Draw: 7/1
Bristol City: 18/1