The Capital One cup takes centre stage at the Etihad on Wednesday night.
After their thumping win away at Sunderland in the last round, Manchester City face Crystal Palace on Wednesday in Round four of this season’s League Cup.
Manchester City last kept a clean sheet at home 4 games ago. The last 20 Man City home matches have produced an average of 3.35 goals per game.
It’s the first of four matches in a fortnight for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, with their trip to Sevilla next Tuesday sandwiched between league games at home to Norwich and at Aston Villa. It’s a testing time for the Blues.
City fans are desperate to see Kelechi Iheanacho start a game and there’s no reason why Manuel Pellegrini shouldn’t grant that wish.The teenager is raring to go it would be a good opportunity to see if he can offer a real alternative to Wilfried Bony over a full game rather than as a late substitute.
Pellegrini will want to get first-teamers who have missed games recently up to speed so Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleks Kolarov should all feature. By the same token, Kevin de Bruyne may be due a rest. But Pellegrini wants a win so not all of his main men can have a night off.
Pardew is bidding to become the first manager to win a major trophy with Palace and welcomes back Dwight Gayle from a ban.
The Premier League will be enriched by further television money next summer, and clubs outside the traditional top six are already spending big. It means high-calibre players are finding their way to places previously they wouldn’t have.
Cabaye is one of them. Signed from Paris Saint-Germain for £10 million in the summer.
Manchester City Injury/Suspension-
David Silva (ankle), Fabian Delph (hamstring), Gael Clichy (ankle), Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero (both hamstring),
Crystal Palace Injury/Suspension-
Joel Ward (knee) and Connor Wickham (calf/shin) but can call on Dwight Gayle (suspension) after he served his ban for a recent sending off.Marouane Chamakh (hamstring).
Possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Caballero; Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov; Fernando, Toure; Navas, Garcia, Sterling; Iheanacho.
Possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Hennessey; Mariappa, Dann, Hangeland, Kelly; Cabaye, McArthur; Sako, Puncheon, Bolasie; Campbell.
Winning the League Cup isn’t the top of the City priorities this season, however, it’s something Manuel Pellegrini will be looking to happen once again but Crystal Palace will have other ideas tonight as a place in the Quarter-Finals is at stake.