Manchester City’s focus will turn to the Carabao Cup on Tuesday when they face the Championship’s Preston North End in the third round of the competition at Deepdale.
The Citizens have won this competition in the past two seasons, and they will look to make that three in a row this time around.
However, to do so, they will have to get past Preston, who have been amongst the Championship’s top performers this season. They beat Hull City in the last round to get here, and will want their journey to continue a little longer.
Check out 90min’s preview of the game below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Tuesday 24 September|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Deepdale|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BBC Radio Manchester|
Preston‘s only real injury concern comes in the form of winger Billy Bodin, who has struggled with a knee problem. However, they welcomed both Ben Pearson and Andrew Hughes back to the lineup last time out against Birmingham City, and they are now almost at full strength.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for City, who are enduring a real injury crisis. Centre backs Aymeric Laporte and John Stones remain unavailable, as does winger Leroy Sane, so Pep Guardiola may have to get creative with his lineup here.
|Preston||Rudd; Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Rafferty; Browne, Ledson; Harrop, Johnson, Maguire; Barkhuizen.|
|Manchester City||Bravo; Cancelo, Garcia, Otamendi, Angelino; Gundogan, Foden, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Jesus, B Silva.|
Head to Head Record
These two sides don’t have a rich history of playing one another, having faced off just three times in the past.
The last of those meetings came back in 2007 in an FA Cup fifth round tie. Led by Stuart Pearce, City stormed to a 3-1 win thanks to strikes from Michael Ball and Stephen Ireland, as well as an own goal from Preston’s Matt Hill. Fun fact, Liverpool‘s Andy Lonergan was actually in goal for Preston that day.
North End’s only victory against City came back in 2001, but it’s safe to say that a lot has changed since then.
Preston are actually on a six-game unbeaten run coming into this tie, having won five of those matches. They picked up their first away win of the season against Birmingham last time out, and will need to use that momentum if they are to get anything against City.
Alex Neil’s side currently sit third in the Championship, just one point off the top spot. They have been hugely impressive this season, and will fancy their chances of stealing something against the Citizens.
As for Guardiola’s men, they bounced back from a shock defeat to Norwich City about as well as you could imagine. An 8-0 mauling of Watford got City back on track, and Preston will certainly be wary of being on the end of a similar scoreline.
Here’s how each side has performed in their last five fixtures.
|Birmingham City 0-1 Preston (21/9)||Manchester City 8-0 Watford (21/9)|
|Preston 2-0 Brentford (14/9)||Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Manchester City (18/9)|
|Nottingham Forest 1-1 Preston (31/8)||Norwich City 3-2 Manchester City (14/9)|
|Preston 2-2 Hull City (5-4 Pens) (27/8)||Manchester City 4-0 Brighton (31/8)|
|Preston 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday (24/8)||Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester City (25/8)|
On paper, this should be a routine victory for City. They proved themselves as England’s finest team last season, and their 8-0 win over Watford made it clear that they are fed up with all this talk of a potential crisis in defence.
However, their loss to Norwich proved they can be beaten by smaller teams, and Preston will certainly look to take advantage of that. They have looked good in the Championship, and they are definitely not just going to roll over and allow City to run riot.
Regardless, this game is City’s to lose. They are easily the stronger side and they will expect nothing less than an emphatic victory. Preston might make it hard, but City should come out on top.