Manchester City v Bristol City: Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 09/01/18 8:38pm
Korey Smith is determined to be part of another shock when Bristol City travel to Manchester City for their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm.
The Robins have beaten four Premier League sides to reach the semi-final of a major cup competition for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
Watford, Stoke and Crystal Palace were all eliminated before their dramatic quarter-final victory over Manchester United, in which Smith scored a 90th-minute winner.
And the striker has his sights set on bringing Manchester City's imperious 31-game domestic unbeaten run to an end in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
"We're under no illusions about the tie as they are probably one of the best clubs in Europe, if not the world at the moment," he said.
"They are playing unbelievably well and they've got great players, but we know in football that anything's possible.
"We've got a lot of respect for them - they have an amazing team with an amazing manager - but it's a massive opportunity to make a special moment again."
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Bristol City are riding high in fourth place in the Championship, but they have lost their last three games, suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time before a much-changed side went out of the FA Cup at Watford.
Man City, meanwhile, continued their trophy pursuit on four fronts with a 4-1 FA Cup third-round victory over Burnley.
While impressed with City's dominant start to the season, Pep Guardiola has revealed he will only be satisfied if they lift trophies, starting with the Carabao Cup.
"A win helps to win more, then we are there, going to go to London to play the final," he said. "It's important (to win trophies). To become a big club like the teams I have faced, or teams like (Manchester) United or Liverpool, with a really big history, you have to win.
"To give real value to what we have done so far, what we are going to do in the future, you have to lift the titles. Without that, it's OK, it's good, but not enough."
Claudio Bravo could retain his place in the Manchester City goal for the visit of Bristol City.
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and defenders Oleksandr Zinchenko and Danilo might also get more game time after playing in Saturday's FA Cup victory over Burnley.
The fitness of captain Vincent Kompany (calf) is unclear but left-back Benjamin Mendy (knee), midfielder Phil Foden (ankle) and striker Gabriel Jesus (knee) are definitely out.
Korey Smith is expected to be fit for Bristol City.
Smith, who scored the quarter-final winner against Manchester United, came off at half-time with a knock in Saturday's 3-0 FA Cup defeat at Watford, but is set to shake that off in time to feature.
Skipper Bailey Wright, Nathan Baker, Joe Bryan and Bobby Reid are among those set to return after being rested at Vicarage Road, while midfielder Liam Walsh joins the squad for the first time after completing his move from Everton.
This will be the first meeting of any kind between these sides since Man City won a second round League Cup tie 2-1 at Ashton Gate in August 2007 - Emile Mpenza and Rolando Bianchi scoring for Sven-Goran Eriksson's City.
Bristol City have eliminated four top-flight clubs so far in this year's competition - the only other lower league side to knock out that many were Sheffield Wednesday in 1990-91, who that year were the last non top-flight side to lift the trophy.
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This is the fifth successive even-numbered year that Man City have reached the League Cup semi-finals - they were eliminated in 2010 and 2012, but progressed and ultimately won the trophy in 2014 and 2016.
Man City have progressed from their last eight League Cup ties against sides from a lower tier, scoring 28 goals in the process. Their last elimination came on penalties against Brighton in September 2008.
This will be the first time Bristol City have faced the side top of the Premier League table since both legs of their League Cup second round tie against Newcastle in 1995-96 - they lost 8-1 on aggregate.
No player has been involved in more EFL Cup goals this season than Bristol City's Matt Taylor (2 goals, 2 assists). Taylor also set up Korey Smith's winner against Man Utd in the previous round.
Bristol City are the highest goalscorers in this season's competition, netting 16 goals from 32 shots on target in their five games. But Man City are the lowest scorers left in the competition, scoring just three goals from 20 shots on target.
I'm afraid I don't give Bristol City any chance. They'll come and park the bus but I'm not sure how they can expect to execute that plan against the best attacking unit in Europe when they've conceded eight goals in their last two games against Aston Villa and Watford.
Manchester City had little trouble breaking Burnley down and they're forced to play Sergio Aguero again because of Gabriel Jesus' injury, while Leroy Sane is scoring again and Raheem Sterling is in the form of his life.
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It is just a joy to watch Manchester City whenever you get the opportunity at the moment and this tie should be all-but over on Tuesday night.
Pep Guardiola keeps telling us the quadruple isn't possible but I think it is and I think they're on course to win the first leg here.
Charlie predicts: 3-0 and David Silva to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)
Watch Man City v Bristol City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Tuesday from 7.30pm on Sky Sports Football.