Bristol City v Stoke preview: Mark Hughes set to rotate squad
Last Updated: 18/09/17 5:15pm
Stoke manager Mark Hughes is expected to utilise his senior squad players for Tuesday night's Carabao Cup tie at Bristol City.
The Premier League side head to Ashton Gate off the back of a defeat by Newcastle at the weekend, and will be aiming to reach the fourth round of the competition.
But they'll face stern opposition in Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City, who thrashed Derby 4-1 at home in the league on Saturday.
Bristol City will be without loan signings Cauley Woodrow and Jonathan Leko for the Carabao Cup third-round clash against Stoke at Ashton Gate as both are cup-tied.
City manager Lee Johnson is likely to give starts to defender Hordur Magnusson and midfielder Niclas Eliasson, who scored during an impressive second-round win against Watford last month.
Defender Glen Johnson, midfielder Charlie Adam and striker Peter Crouch could all be drafted into the Stoke starting XI, while Kurt Zouma should be involved as he will be ineligible to face parent club Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
Captain Ryan Shawcross (back) and fellow defender Geoff Cameron (hamstring) are both working on their recoveries, while Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay (knee) and Stephen Ireland (broken leg) continue rehabilitation from long-term injuries.
These two sides have met just once in the League Cup, with Bristol City beating Stoke 1-0 in the second round in August 1977.
Last season, the Robins reached the League Cup fourth round for the first time since 1988-89, they've never reached that stage in successive campaigns.
Stoke have reached the fourth round in seven of the last nine seasons, although they were eliminated at this stage last season, losing 2-1 to Hull City.
The Potters have progressed from each of their last nine League Cup ties against lower league opposition, keeping clean sheets in the last four.
Bristol City have already taken a Premier League scalp this season, coming from behind to beat Watford 3-2 in round two - they've never eliminated two top-flight teams in one campaign.
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
Bristol City score plenty of goals, with Bobby Reid already netting seven times this season, and their home fans will be thirsty for a nice scalp, so they're are a dangerous team to visit even at full strength. Stoke on the other hand never seem too fussed about having a go in the cup. Mark Hughes will make a lot of changes because he's got players who he needs to get more out of.
I can see them going out early again and, while there will be a bit of disappointment afterwards, their focus will be on trying to beat Chelsea in front of their own fans on Saturday.
Charlie predicts: 2-1 and Reid to score first (40/1 with Sky Bet)