Manchester City remain in the hunt for four titles as they prepare for their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg encounter with League One side Burton.
Pep Guardiola’s men swept past Rotherham 7-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday, four days after closing the gap at the top of the Premier League table with an important 2-1 success over Liverpool.
Albion, meanwhile, are simply fighting for a playoff spot in English football’s third tier and could not have dreamed of being in this position when the season began.
|Game||Man City vs Burton|
|Date||Wednesday, January 9|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be streamed on ESPN+.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football and streamed on Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Man City players|
|Defenders||Stones, Laporte, Otamendi, Kompany, Sandler, Walker, Danilo|
|Midfielders||Fernadinho, Gundogan, Delph, Zinchenko, Foden, D. Silva, Diaz, B. Silva, Mahrez, De Bruyne|
|Forwards||Aguero, Jesus, Sterling, Sane|
Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy both miss out injured, as does Aymeric Laporte.
Ederson is rested for cup action, with Aro Muric taking over in goal for this clash.
Man City starting XI: Muric, Walker, Otamendi, Garcia, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Silva, Sane, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Jesus
|Position||Burton Albion players|
|Goalkeepers||Bywater, Evtimov, Campbell, Collins, Hawkins|
|Defenders||Buxton, McFadzean, Turner, McCrory, Wallace, Hutchinson, Brayford|
|Midfielders||Quinn, Allen, Sbarra, Fox, Hodge, Fraser, Miller|
|Forwards||Akins, Templeton, Harness, Boyce, Cole, Beardsley|
Burton were boosted by the return of top scorer Liam Boyce to their squad last weekend as the former Ross County ace came off the bench to score against Rochdale.
Marvin Sordell and Stephen Quinn are missing due to injury.
Possible Burton starting XI: Collins; Brayford, Buxton, Turner, Hutchinson; Fraser, Wallace, Allen; Harness, Boyce, Akins
Betting & Match Odds
Man City are incredibly short favourites at a price of 1/25 with bet365. A draw can be backed at 20/1 while the price on Burton winning is 50/1.
Burton Albion have undoubtedly been the story of the Carabao Cup this season, having made apparently impossible progress to the semi-final of the competition. They had never been beyond the last-16 of any national knockout tournament previously.
However, they are not the only lower-league club in recent years to enjoy such a run and as they prepare for two matches against the millionaires of Manchester City they do so with Bradford City’s exploits in 2013 in mind. That season, Bradford knocked out three Premier League clubs as they reached the final at Wembley.
Burton’s run may not have been quite so dazzling, but they have still eliminated Burnley, as well as three Championship sides to reach the final four.
“When we saw the draw on Sky and there were four teams in the draw it started with No 1 Burton Albion. Then we looked down and we saw Chelsea, wow! Then we saw Manchester City, wow! Then we saw Tottenham, wow!” chairman Ben Robinson told Sky Sports News.
“It is very much a case of pinching ourselves and thinking it is another great occasion to look forward to.
“Manchester City are the current Premier League champions, it is over two legs so we will go there on Wednesday and we will enjoy the occasion but I think it is about damage limitation after seeing the demolition of Rotherham in the FA Cup on Sunday.”
City had six different scorers at the weekend as they dismantled Rotherham, a side in a higher league than Burton, 7-0 in the FA Cup.
Pep Guardiola’s side are unlikely to have little time for romanticism either, as their packed scheduled combined with their position four points behind Liverpool in the league means that they will try to finish this tie off at the first time of asking.
Last season he was almost stung by deploying a weakened team at this stage of the competition against Bristol City as they scraped to a 2-1 home win and he will be eager to avoid such an eventuality again.