It’s semi-final time! It’s always nice when you’re just one or two games away from playing for a trophy, and that’s the case for Manchester City. The Blues face Bristol City in the semi-finals of the League Cup (WHICH WE WILL NOT CALL CARABAO CUP BECAUSE IT’S A HORRIBLE NAME), and two positive results over the next three weeks will send them to Wembley at the end of February.
City are obviously the massive favorites going into this one for obvious reasons: they’re the Premier League leaders and virtual champions, they’re Champions League favorites and they have played the best football in Europe this season. Pep Guardiola and his men have put on a show week in and week out, and the results prove that this style of football can be successful in English football.
But it won’t be easy to beat the Championship side. Bristol have also played fantastic football of their own, and they have knocked out a number of Premier League teams throughout their League Cup run. Their biggest win was in the quarter-finals against Manchester United, which clearly shows they can beat anyone.
The Robins are well organized defensively and love to score goals on the counter, a style of play that will match up well with Manchester City. The Blues have an overwhelming advantage in terms of talent, but talent doesn’t really matter in Cup games. It’s about being the better team for 180 minutes and getting two positive results, and Bristol definitely can do it.
This will be a lot of fun to watch, and it’ll be very interesting to see how the two teams approach the first leg at the Etihad. Will the home side go for the kill and try to guarantee a place in the final with a big win? Will the away side defend for their lives and try to take a good result to cause an upset at their own stadium? We’re about to find out.
Competition/Round: THE NOT CARABAO CUP Semi-final, 1st Leg
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 7:45pm GMT (UK), 8:45pm WAT (Nigeria), 2:45pm ET, 11:45am PT (USA), 1:15am IST (India, next day)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM LEAGUE CUP
Television: Sky Sports Main Event (UK), Not Televised (USA, Canada, Nigeria)
Online streaming: Sky GO (UK), WatchESPN (USA), DAZN (Canada), Kwesé Sports 1 (Nigeria)
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
Lineups will be posted when announced. For a look at the possible lineups and a full preview of the game, click here.