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Big Match Breakdown: Manchester City v Bristol City

Dave Burin | 9 January 2018

Citizens host Man United’s cup conquerors

The Carabao Cup Semi-Finals kick off with Manchester City hosting Championship Bristol City, who are dreaming of another triumph against a North-West giant.

The Citizens have been unstoppable so far this season. Top of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s men also breezed to top spot in their Champions League group.

All that makes Man City hot favourites in this first leg clash at the Etihad Stadium. But Bristol City aren’t scared by reputations. The Robins have knocked out four Premier League sides to reach this point.

Guardiola’s side have needed penalties to win two of their three Carabao Cup ties. So more drama could well be on the cards.

Everything points to an exciting first leg, and the Coral News Team have taken a detailed look ahead of kick-off…

Head-to-Head

There’s not too much to sink your teeth into here, but the last meeting went the way of Man City – a 2-1 League Cup victory at Ashton Gate in 2007.

Over history, it’s the South-West club who have had the better of it, with 10 victories to seven. But the last of those wins came way back in 1979.

Likely XIs

The hosts have fielded a fairly consistent second-string for this competition.

Claudio Bravo has been the man between the sticks, while youngsters Brahim Diaz and Tosin Adarabioyo have also played an important part in this cup run.

Injury to Gabriel Jesus means Sergio Aguero is likely to start up front, with Bernardo Silva on the right flank.

Lee Johnson’s men are likely to play a similar XI to the one that saw off the Red Devils in the quarter-finals.

Centre-back duo Nathan Baker and Aden Flint offer physicality and class in defence, and should partner each other again. At the other end, high-scoring Bobby Reid could well be the supplier for striker Jamie Paterson.

Man City betting news

Key Battles

The visitors will have to deal with their opponents’ pace and trickery out wide. Diaz is rapid on the left flank. On the right, Bernardo Silva has proved a skilful presence with an eye for goal.

Luke Steele has produced heroics in the Robins’ goal throughout this run. He’s kept out the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Troy Deeney, but can he cope against the class and ruthlessness of Aguero?

As for Lee Johnson’s charges, their main threat will likely come from harrying the Citizens’ defence. Jamie Paterson is a wily player, while Bobby Reid can produce a bit of magic in an instant.

Put simply, the likes of Adarabioyo and Eliaquim Mangala can’t afford to muck about on the ball.

Match Odds

Man City’s incredible form this season is reflected in their odds of 1/11 in the Match Betting. The Robins are 25/1 to pull off a shock victory on the night, with 9/1 about the draw.

The South-West club have scored 16 times in their five Carabao Cup games this term, while the Citizens have netted in 17 of their last 18 matches. Both Teams to Score is a 5/4 shot.

Bernardo Silva has scored in each of Man City’s last two domestic cup games, and looks well-priced to Score Anytime at 7/5.

For the Robins, Bobby Reid has already bagged 13 goals this term. He’s 5/2 to add to that tally at the Etihad.

Guardiola’s men have led at the half-hour mark in five of the last eight games. Result After 30 Minutes: Man City is 20/23, while Man City to Win Both Halves can be backed at 4/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing