Victory over Bristol Metropolis signifies that Pep Guardiola will take cost of an English cup remaining for the primary time, and will likely be anticipated to transfer in the direction of one other with a win over Championship promotion-chasers Cardiff, who’ve received solely considered one of their final six league video games.
Cardiff wanted a replay to beat League Two Mansfield City within the earlier spherical, whereas Manchester Metropolis made quick work of Premier League rivals Burnley, coming from behind to win by the identical scoreline.
Cardiff supervisor Neil Warnock will know that probabilities of an upset are slim, however he has had earlier success on this competitors, having taken Sheffield United to the semi-finals in 2003.
Right here’s every part you’ll want to know forward of this tie on the Cardiff Metropolis Stadium:
Cardiff Three-2 Manchester Metropolis (25 August 2013, Premier League)
Cardiff and Man Metropolis have solely ever met twice within the Premier League, sharing 11 targets throughout these two video games. Metropolis beat the Bluebirds (then taking part in in crimson) Four-2 on the Etihad, however it was the sport in south Wales – Cardiff’s first ever residence match within the Premier League – which has lived longest within the reminiscence.
Malky Mackay’s group can’t have held out a lot hope for the go to of Man Metropolis, who had destroyed Newcastle Four-Zero of their opening recreation of the season. And all of it appeared to be going to the script when Edin Dzeko gave the Residents the lead simply after half time.
Nonetheless when Aron Gunnarsson equalised on the hour mark, Cardiff followers began to sense that one thing very particular could possibly be within the offing. It was offered by former Manchester United reject Frazier Campbell, who headed in from a nook with ten minutes remaining after which repeated the trick within the dying levels to seal victory. Alvaro Negredo scored a late comfort, however Cardiff held on for a memorable triumph.
By the tip of the season, these two have been getting in very totally different instructions. Metropolis have been topped Premier League champions, whereas Cardiff have been relegated after only one yr within the top-flight.
Kenneth Zohore vs John Stones
Liverpool and Bristol Metropolis have demonstrated in latest weeks that assault actually is the perfect type of defence in opposition to Manchester Metropolis. Neil Warnock is unlikely to throw warning to the wind in fairly the identical manner, however he ought to give his attacking gamers the liberty to play their very own recreation.
Loads will rely upon the efficiency of Kenneth Zohore. The younger Dane has been poor in entrance of purpose to this point this season, scoring simply 4 targets in seventeen league begins. If ever there was a time to start out rewarding his supervisor’s religion, it’s now.
Manchester Metropolis’s defence has been good this season, however not infallible, and that’s typified by John Stones. His means to play out from the again is nearly unmatched within the Premier League, however you all the time sense that there’s a mistake in him.
If Stones is allowed to play his pure recreation, he may have a snug afternoon; but when Cardiff get in his face and strain him at each alternative, they could get their rewards.
Cardiff will likely be with out Yanic Wildschut, who made his debut for the Bluebirds two weeks in the past after becoming a member of on mortgage from Norwich. He performed for the Canaries in opposition to Chelsea within the third spherical, and is due to this fact cup-tied.
New signing Marko Grujic needs to be obtainable – the Serbian didn’t function for Liverpool within the FA Cup earlier than shifting to Cardiff, and there’s no purpose why Liverpool wouldn’t enable him to play in opposition to considered one of their fundamental rivals.
Manchester Metropolis don’t have any recent damage considerations and Pep Guardiola put out a commendably robust group in opposition to Burnley within the earlier spherical. Claudio Bravo, Danilo and Ilkay Gundogan – regulars within the cup competitions – are more likely to begin.
Predicted Cardiff Beginning Lineup: Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Ralls, Grujic, Damour; Mendez-Laing, Zohore, Hoilett
Predicted Man Metropolis Beginning Lineup: Bravo; Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Fernandinho, Toure; Sterling, Aguero, Sane
Manchester Metropolis haven’t saved a clear sheet but in 2018, which can give Cardiff some hope of an unlikely upset. Nonetheless, that is Pep Guardiola’s Manchester Metropolis we’re speaking about, and if he places out a group even half as robust because the one which noticed off Burnley in spherical three, it’s more likely to be a protracted afternoon for Cardiff.
It needs to be pretty routine for the Premier League leaders.
Prediction: Cardiff 1-Four Manchester Metropolis