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Manchester City vs Burton Albion, EFL Cup Semifinals – First Leg: Team News, Preview and Prediction

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City Host Burton in the First Leg of the EFL Cup Semifinals

Oldham Athletic v Derby County - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Competition/Round: 2018/19 EFL “Carabao” Cup – Semifinals, First Leg

Date/Time: Manchester City vs Burton Albion – Wednesday, 9 January 2019, 19:45 (UK); 14:45 EST, 11:45 PST (USA)

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Match Officials:

Referee: Mike Dean

Assistants: Ian Hussin, Darren Cann

Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Paul Tierney, Constantive Hatzidakis

TV Info: Sky Sports Main Event (UK)

Live Stream: SKY GO Extra (UK); ESPN+ (USA)

Radio: BBC Radio Manchester, TalkSport Radio UK (UK)

Preview:

Manchester City will host Burton Albion in the first leg of the EFL “Carabao” Cup semifinals.

Having played an English Premier League match on Thursday and an FA Cup fixture over the weekend, the Blues will complete their hat-trick of competitions on Wednesday. City was victorious in both fixtures, having defeated Liverpool (EPL) and Rotherham United (FA Cup) by a combined score of 9-1. The champions of England are riding on a lot of momentum and will look to conclude their hectic winter schedule with a first leg win over Burton Albion.

The Brewers, however, will have other plans in store. The League 1 team have impressed in this season’s EFL competition. On their way to the semifinal, Burton Albion defeated Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Burnley, Aston Villa and Shrewsbury Town. Of these five fixtures, their victory over Burnley is particularly of note. The Brewers will look to add to their improbable run as they look to earn a result at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Team News:

Manchester City’s Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy are sidelined through injury. Fabian Delph, who earned a red card in the match against Leicester City, has returned from suspension.

Burton Albion missed several players as they faced Rochdale over the weekend. Kyle McFadzean, Marvin Sordell and John Brayford did not travel on Saturday and it is possible they will not feature in this match.

Possible Lineups:

Manchester City

Formation: 4-3-3

Muric; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Gündoğan, D. Silva; Mahrez, Agüero, Sané

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Burton Albion

Formation: 4-3-3

Collins; Fox, Buxton, Turner, Hutchinson; Fraser, Quinn, Allen; Harness, Atkins, Templeton

Manager: Nigel Clough

Prediction:

After taking a dip in form in December, Manchester City are back to winning ways. They have returned to their incredible style of play, replicating themselves from last season. It is without a doubt the Blues are heavy favours for this tie. This is why they cannot afford to be complacent and must mirror the performance they had a fortnight ago as they hosted Rotherham United in the FA Cup. Should City achieve this, they will have one foot in the EFL Cup final.

Burton Albion will have everything to play for in this match, however, and it is expected they will put up a good fight. They have not conceded more than three goals in a single match this season, and they will have to remain defensively sound throughout the duration of this fixture. Should the Brewers maintain their composure, it is possible this could lead to an interesting second leg. After all, Manchester City were challenged by Bristol City in last season’s EFL Cup semifinal. Moreover, Wigan Athletic eliminated City in the FA Cup’s Fifth Round. Anything could happen.

Given the nature of cup competitions in England, it is expected this will be a closer affair than some might expect. The Blues will look to retain their trophy whilst Burton could play the role of spoilers. Therefore, it is expected this will be an entertaining affair.

Manchester City 3-1 Burton Albion