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Sky Blue News: Saints Preview, Pep Presser, Phillips Debut?, and More...

Headlines for matchday from Bitter and Blue.

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Manchester City v Chelsea: Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Manchester City are less than 72 hours removed from dispatching Chelsea FC from the FA Cup and now they are headed to Southampton to face the Saints in a Carabao Cup Quarterfinal match. Sky Blue News is here to help you prep for the showdown at St. Mary’s.

Southampton vs Man City team news: two out & five doubts for Carabao Cup quarter-final - Jack Grealish latest - Michael Plant - Manchester World

The Blues head to the south coast for the last of the four matches at this stage, and will already know which other sides have progressed to the semi-finals by the time they finish at St Mary’s. Pep Guardiola should travel with an almost full-strength squad, with Ruben Dias the only major concern heading into the clash.

The defender has missed all five City matches since club football resumed due to a hamstring injury, and is not expected to be back in time for Wednesday’s game. Jack Grealish was a doubt earlier in the week after he missed Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Chelsea through illness and, after not being pictured in training on Monday, was spotted in Tuesday’s gallery on the club website and is expected to travel to Southampton.

Guardiola also hinted ahead of the game that Kalvin Phillips will start, with those rested against Chelsea - Ederson, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland - likely to come into the side.

As for Southampton, they have a few more issues to deal with, and Alex McCarthy, Juan Larios, Valentino Livramento and Theo Walcott are doubts due to knocks, while manager Nathan Jones confirmed in his pre-match press conference that two players have definitely been ruled out.

Southampton V Manchester City - League Cup Stats - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

Last season was the first time since 2015 that the blues hadn’t made it past the fourth round. Saints also went out in round four last season and this is their first appearance in the quarter-final since the 2015/16 season, when they reached the final.

This meeting will be the fourth time City have visited Southampton in January and are yet to win. They have so far lost one (4-1) and drawn two, so the blues are due a January victory.

The league form of the two going into the match couldn’t be much different. City have lost just two league and cup matches this season and have won their last five. By comparison, Saints have won just seven, three of those in the Premier League and remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Southampton boss Nathan Jones expecting tough Carabao Cup encounter with Manchester City - Yahoo!Sport

Jones’ position is already under scrutiny, but the former Luton boss will have a welcome chance to divert attention away from his side’s survival scrap when they host Pep Guardiola’s team. “It’s probably the toughest test you can have because they are one of the best in the world,” said Jones ahead of Wednesday night’s clash at St Mary’s Stadium. “But it is the quarter-finals of a cup so it’s a shoot-out. It is winner-takes-all and we need a strong home performance. “Of course, it is a tough ask but these are the moments that you want to test yourself against because if it is simple, week in, week out, then there’s no real joy in it and there’s no challenge. “I know this job is a challenge and this game (against City) is one of the biggest about. It is a wonderful opportunity to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the world, not just the Premier League.” Southampton came from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace last weekend and book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup. And Jones hopes the comeback victory at Selhurst Park will provide them with some much-needed momentum before they tackle City, and then travel to Everton in a pivotal league fixture on Saturday. “Every game is huge at the minute,” Jones added. “Playing Palace away wouldn’t have been our first choice, but it proved to be a really productive game for us - it was like a Premier League match - and we feel we’ve been gathering momentum and hopefully that can give us a springboard.

Every word from Pep Guardiola ahead Man City vs Southampton Carabao Cup tie - Daniel Murphy - Manchester Evening News

City’s cup exploits will continue on Wednesday as they travel down to the south coast to take on the Saints with a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals at stake. The Blues enjoyed success in the FA Cup last week as they cruised past Chelsea to the Fourth Round and will be hoping for a similar result at St. Mary’s.

Guardiola has already revealed Kalvin Phillips is set to start the game and the manager may offer further insights into the team he intends to deploy. It will be interesting to see if Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne return after sitting out the win against Chelsea even though the Manchester derby is on Saturday.

Southampton are struggling at the foot of the Premier League table but picked up their first win under new manager Nathan Jones at the weekend after defeating Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.


Gomez, 22, joined Manchester City in the summer for a fee of around £11.5m. But the Spaniard has only played 11 times for City, remaining an unused substitute for City in their last eight Premier League matches. He is struggling.

His form at Anderlecht was incredible. From left-back, he had a hand in 22 goals in 50 appearances. So, clearly, a huge talent that City have signed for a modest fee. But while it might have been easily predicted, Gomez is not playing.

CMW say Juventus are ready to try and take advantage of that. With Sandro out of contract, Juventus are looking at signing a left-back either this month – or in the summer. City would be willing to sell Gomez for a fee of £35m.

Manchester City midfielder “ready” to make full debut, confirms Pep Guardiola - Harry Winters - City Xtra

The Englishman featured from the bench in wins against Chelsea in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup, replacing Rodri on both occasions.

Guardiola is now set to hand the former Leeds player his first Manchester City start, with the Blues travelling to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Speaking ahead of the match, the Catalan said: “He’s always ready. He needed time for tactical aspects but he’s ready.”

“We have to see [if he will start] but I think he’s an intelligent player normally holding midfielders, so clever.

“He has indicated at Leeds with Bielsa the commitment of every training session and every game. But there are patterns and movements and you need game time.”

And finally... Good luck ou there JWE. We look forward to your return.


Wilson-Esbrand made his City debut in the Carabao Cup against Wycombe Wanderers last season and has since featured in two Champions League games against FC Copenhagen and Sevilla as well as regularly being included in Pep Guardiola’s matchday squad this campaign.

All three of his senior appearances have ended in victory with an aggregate score of 14-2.

The London-born Wilson-Esbrand has also represented England Under-18s and England Under-20s.

Ther you are. Stay with us at Bitter and Blue throughout the day as we get ready for the match against Southampton. Follow along on Twitter with @BitterandBlue1 for all the reactions. Come on City!!!