Manchester City vs Port Vale Preview: FA Cup holders looking to avoid upset
Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Manchester City will be hoping to continue where they left off in the FA Cup as they take on Port Vale in the Third Round of this year's competition.

The holders will be hoping to avoid a major upset, as their opponents sit three divisions below them in League Two. Vale head into the third round clash with two wins in the competition already under their belt, after they defeated MK Dons and Cheltenham to get to this stage.

The game (as well as every other FA Cup tie this weekend) will start one minute later than the usual kick-off time to help raise awareness of mental health issues as part of an FA initiative to promote positive well-being amongst fans.

  •  Last time out

The hosts recorded a victory in their last outing, as they defeated Everton 2-1 on New Year's Day. In spite of a late scare through Richarlison, two earlier goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne was enough to see the Champions start off the year with three points.

Vale, however, could only pick up a point in their previous fixture as they drew 2-2 at home to Macclesfield Town. Despite taking the lead through David Worrall, two goals from the Silkmen pegged Vale back. Fortunately for John Askey's side, a strike from David Amoo was enough to rescue a point with just less than 30 minutes on the clock.

  •  Recent form

City head into the clash in a fairly strong vein of form after recording just one defeat in their last seven, winning the other six. 

The visitors, however, have struggled in recent weeks picking up just one win in their last six. However, there are some positives for Vale with just one defeat also coming in that run of six games.

  •  Ones to watch

One man to keep an eye out for in City's star-studded side is 18-year-old, Eric Garcia. After being given a chance in recent weeks due to City's defensive frailties, the young Spaniard has shone at the back for the blues, and it will be no surprise to see him on the team sheet come Saturday.

For Vale, one player they will be hoping can stir up an upset at the Etihad is midfielder Jake Taylor. The on-loan Nottingham Forest man has found the net five times in 17 games for the League Two side from the center of the park, and has been a shining light in his side's 2019/20 campaign so far.

  •  Team news

The Blues will be without long term absentees, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane, whilst John Stones could be set to make a return after nearing recovery from a hamstring injury. 

Team rotation is expected by Pep Guardiola, with youngsters, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Tommy Doyle all hoping to feature.

Despite injury scares defender, Shaun Brisley and veteran forward, Tom Pope are expected to be fit for the away side.