The Blues continue their unstoppable run of wins in the league, but their last Cup match was a Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk, so Pep Guardiola will no doubt look to return to winning ways and advance to semi-final.
Despite his wish to win, Pep will not risk everything to advance in the least important competition on the calendar, so expect a LOT of rotation for this one. It’s really hard to predict which players Guardiola will select and which players he’ll give a night off, but we can expect Kevin De Bruyne, Nicolas Otamendi, Ederson, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph to not even be in uniform for this one.
Claudio Bravo, Danilo Luiz, Tosin Adarabioyo, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus will no doubt be starting in this one, and then it’s about figuring out who’s around them. I believe Brahim Díaz gets a chance to start, as well as Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back; Eliaquim Mangala will be Adarabioyo’s partner if Vincent Kompany isn’t fit to start, and we’ll probably see Ilkay Gundogan and Yaya Touré in midfield.
Then again, this is Pep so we have no idea about the formation or the rotation he’s planning. It all depends on how serious he’s taking the League Cup and how many key players need a rest. We’ll find out tomorrow.
Predicted XI: Bravo; Danilo, Adarabioyo, Mangala, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Touré, Foden; Bernardo, Jesus, Brahim
Claude Puel took Southampton to the League Cup final last season knocking out Arsenal and Liverpool in the process, so he definitely knows how to go deep and how to beat the big teams. Puel doesn’t have the biggest of squad at his disposal, so we should be expecting a strong team from him in this one.
The only four players who are expected to get a night off or to be on the bench are goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, captain Wes Morgan, and attackers Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy. All four have been crucial to Leicester’s success under Puel since he took over last month, so the Frenchman will no doubt be looking to save their legs for the upcoming league fixtures.
Predicted XI: Hamer; Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Albrighton, King, Iborra, Gray; Okazaki, Iheanacho