Manchester City vs Burton Albion preview: Carabao Cup semi-final first leg
Watch live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 7.30pm on Wednesday
Last Updated: 09/01/19 7:03pm
Manchester City and Burton will meet for the first time in a competitive game as they play the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, live on Sky Sports from 7.30pm on Wednesday.
Nigel Clough's Burton will travel to the Etihad on Wednesday evening hoping to cause a huge upset ahead of the return leg at the Pirelli Stadium on January 22.
Clough has urged his team and the fans to enjoy the occasion despite being the underdogs and says they know how talented City can be.
"We are going to enjoy the experience," he said. "Nobody gives us much of a chance and quite rightly so. But it's great for our supporters. Some have followed the club for 40, 50, 60 years or more and never dreamt of being in a League Cup semi-final, so let's enjoy it.
"Every game you have a chance but it's just about what degree that chance is. Ours is extremely slim but there is always a chance in football. We won't go into detail about their players as that will frighten the life out of our lads. They know how good they are as they watch Match of the Day each week."
City manager Pep Guardiola admitted it was too soon to say if his team might be short-handed if they continue to progress in several competitions.
"Hopefully not," he said. "With four competitions still, everybody will play, everybody will be involved. We have games every three or four days. We need everybody.
"Winning is important, we cannot deny it, we are here in the semi-finals and it's one step to go back to Wembley, that's why we take it seriously in that game once we are here. It's true the Carabao Cup is the more local competition. Everybody is happy to win but nobody is sad if they go out in that competition. Once we are here, we are going to try."
Clough must check on the fitness of Stephen Quinn and John Brayford. Quinn was withdrawn 12 minutes into Saturday's 4-0 win over Rochdale with a groin problem, while Brayford sat out the match with a hamstring injury.
Liam Boyce returned from injury and was among the goalscorers on Saturday, while Scott Fraser and Jamie Allen both came through the match with knocks. Kyle McFadzean (abdomen) and Marvin Sordell (knee) remain sidelined.
Guardiola confirmed that everyone is fit for City bar Benjamin Mendy, who should return in two or three weeks. Fabian Delph is back after suspension although Brahim Diaz will not feature after he made a permanent move to Real Madrid on Monday.
- City are participating in their 11th League Cup semi-final, qualifying for the final on six occasions (1969-70, 1973-74, 1975-76, 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2017-18); this is Burton's first League Cup semi-final.
- City have progressed from their last 10 League Cup ties against sides from a lower division, including a 3-0 win at League One side Oxford United in this season's third round.
- Burton are the first League One side to reach this stage of the League Cup since Sheffield United in 2014/15 - the Blades were then managed by current Brewers boss Nigel Clough.
- Kevin De Bruyne has scored eight goals and assisted four in 12 League Cup appearances for City.
- Burton have eliminated a team from a higher division in four previous rounds of this season's League Cup, with only three teams ever eliminating five in one campaign - Swindon in 1968/69, Chester in 1974/75 and Bradford in 2012/13.
- City's last home League Cup match against a League One side was in September 2004, a 7-1 hammering of Barnsley.
- This will be third time Nigel Clough has managed in a League Cup semi-final, taking charge of Derby's second leg - a 2-4 defeat - against Manchester United in 2008-09 and leading Sheffield United to that stage in the 2014/15 campaign, losing to Tottenham.
Congratulations Burton, but this is where it ends! Pep has turned around and said: 'We're going after four (trophies)'. He was brought to deliver the Champions League but a truly great club goes after everything. He went after it at Barcelona and he didn't quite make it at Bayern. He will want his side to win the game by three or four and leave the big boys on the bench. No disrespect but, like in the FA Cup, I think it will be done. Nigel Clough has done a fantastic job but the cup run ends here.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: Man City 4-0 Burton (11/2 with Sky Bet)