Manchester City vs Rotherham United Preview: Changes expected as Citizens continue to fight on all fronts 
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Manchester City vs Rotherham United Preview: Changes expected as Citizens continue to fight on all fronts 

Manchester City will host Rotherham United on Sunday afternoon at the Etihad Stadium, here's everything you need to know ahead of the encounter. 

Josh Slinger

Manchester City will welcome Rotherham United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Changes are expected from Pep Guardiola, as the fixtures continue to pile up, and the Blues continue to fight on all fronts. 

De Bruyne likely to start

Recently the champions have been hit heavily with injury, with star man Kevin de Bruyne missing the majority of the season due to a series of different injuries.

The Belgian was back on the bench during City's win over Liverpool, and is expected to start in this one in order to get minutes under his belt.

Youngster Phil Foden could also start the game, whilst Brahim Diaz is reportedly forecast to complete a move to Real Madrid soon, pretty much ruling him out of contention. 

City will again have a packed schedule throughout January, and therefore are likely to make numerous changes to their XI, although with their strength in depth, will still be the overwhelming favourites in this tie.

Man City predicted XI: Muric; Walker, Garcia, Otamendi, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Foden; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.

Warne looking forward to the challenge

Rotherham may be languishing in 21st in the EFL Championship, although boss Paul Warne is excited by the prospect of facing the Premier League champions.

"Everyone is looking forward to it, except possibly me as the manager! No, we're looking forward to it. Whichever team they put out will be really strong,"

The Millers' boss also won't be surprised if Guardiola fields some of his key names, "I know that Man City want to do well in all of the cup and tournaments." he continued, "Premier League player recovers quickly so I won't be surprised to see a few big names in the team on Sunday."

Warne then finished off talk about his opposition by saying "Whenever there is a football match, you've got a chance," which everyone knows is true about the FA Cup. 

If Rotherham are to pull off one of the most sensational FA Cup shocks in recent years, they will have to do so without Kyle Vassell, who misses the game through injury, as well as Richie Towell who is suspended. 

Rotherham predicted XI: Rodak; Ajayi, Robertson, Wood, Mattock; Taylor, Vaulks, Palmer, Williams; Wiles; Smith.

History favours the home side

This fixture is one with little history, with the sides only ever facing each other 10 times.

In these 10 occasions, City have never lost, with the Blues coming out victorious the only time the sides have met in the FA Cup.

In this time, the first leg was a goalless draw in the third round of the 1978-79 campaign, before City won the replay 4-2.

Guardiola's men will be confident, whilst cautious, of reaching the fourth round, as the champions of England look to continue to fight in four different competitions.