Manchester City fans will be in the running for plenty of silverware come the end of season but right now they have a golden chance to reach another Wembley final in the League Cup against Burton Albion.
Burton have managed to upset three teams ranked above them and deserve great respect for that, including a 2-1 home win against Burnley and a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough. Both of those performances are entitled to major respect, but that was their only win on the road and taking on Manchester City is going to be an entirely different task.
City made eight changes for their FA Cup tie against Rotherham and still started with Ederson, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus whilst Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho were on the bench.
That resulted in a 7-0 win for the hosts and they have a generous gap before facing Wolves on Monday, so Guardiola has another free hit to put out a strong team and it would be in his interest to seal the deal before the return leg, which comes in the thick of the league season.
Burton’s resistance could be as fierce as Bristol City’s was last year – with some luck they made City sweat for a 2-1 win at this equivalent stage last year – but they were second in the Championship at the halfway stage and Albion are only ninth in League One, albeit coming off the back of an impressive 4-0 win at Rochdale.
This is likely to be a question of just how many City score in the end, and there are signs that we could see another big score. City put seven past Rotherham, have put six past Huddersfield, Southampton and Shakhtar, five past Burnley and four past West Ham this season. The 4-0 and 5-0 correct scores make more appeal than backing City to cover giant handicaps (they are 5/4 to beat a three goal handicap, and 11/4 to beat a 4 goal handicap).
Man City v Burton Albion
Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
First meeting between teams
If City hit their stride early, then the option for over 1.5 first half goals could be value. City average 1.86 goals a game in the first half alone this season and were 3-0 up against Rotherham at the weekend.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Manchester City 4-0 Burton Albion 2 pts at 11/2 with starsports.bet
BACK Manchester City 5-0 Burton Albion 1 pt at 8/1 with starsports.bet
BACK Over 1.5 first half goals 4 pts at 3/4 with starsports.bet
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