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Swansea City vs Manchester City, 2016 EFL Cup: Match Preview, Predictions

The champs start their title defense

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Liverpool v Manchester City - Capital One Cup Final Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Remember when the English Football League Cup was called the Capital One Cup? Or Carling Cup? Or the Coca-Cola Cup? Good times. Well, now it's just the EFL Cup, because they couldn't find any sponsors for it.

The name might be different, but the champions remain Manchester City. That memorable night in February against Liverpool was definitely the highlight of a very disappointing first half of 2016. But Pep Guardiola has arrrived, City have won all eight games to start the season and will kick off their League Cup campaign with plenty of excitement, not just to defend their title, but to win some others as well.

Guardiola hates to lose, and he will try to win every competition. The Premier League and Champions League are the biggest targets, but the world's best coach will try to go as far as possible in the EFL Cup as well. If it's the title, great! But to get there, City need to beat Swansea City at Liberty Stadium on Wednesday first.


Date/Time: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 7:45pm local time (BST), 8:45pm CET (Europe), 2:45pm ET, 11:45am PT (US), 12:15am IST (India, next day)

Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales

Referee: Keith Stroud

TV listings: None in US, None in UK, TEN 3 (India), elsewhere

Online streaming: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (US & Canada), elsewhere


Man City team news: Guardiola spoke in a press conference and he didn't just hint, but nearly confirmed a major change of his starting lineup. The entire team will change, and only Kelechi Iheanacho will play this game after starting against Bournemouth last Saturday. Five Academy players, including Spanish wonderkid Brahim Díaz, have been called into the squad that will play in Wales, and they all might get a chance.

Leroy Sané will make his full debut after three substitute appearances, and captain Vincent Kompany is expected to play for the first time this season.

Predicted Man City starting lineup (4-1-4-1, R-L):

Caballero; Maffeo, Adarabioyo, Kompany, Angelino; Fernando; Navas, Aleix, Delph, Sané; Iheanacho

* * * * *

Swansea team news: Manager Francesco Guidolin is not going through his best period as Swansea manager, with bad results and questionable coaching decisions in the last few games. He will rotate the squad for Wednesday's match, and is expected to make as much as eight changes to the side that lost to Southampton in the Premier League, which includes the return of dangerous winger Jefferson Montero from injury.

Predicted Swansea starting lineup (4-3-3, R-L)

Nordfeldt; Rangel, van der Hoorn, Amat, Taylor; Cork, Fulton, Fer; Barrow, Borja, Montero


SCORE PREDICTION

This is very hard to predict, given that Wednesday's City team will play together for the first time and maybe with a lot of kids, so they might struggle to deliver great football. Still, this is a talented Sky Blue side against a questionable reserve Swansea team, so I'm going with a 2-1 win to stay perfect and move on to the fourth round.