League Cup holders Manchester City will host Championship Bournemouth in the third round of the competition on Thursday evening.
Bournemouth beat Crystal Palace 11-10 in a remarkable Carabao Cup penalty shootout following a goalless draw in the second round.
The Cherries (who have never won the cup) are without most of the squad who travelled to the Etihad when the two sides last met in July. With no Jordan Ibe, Ryan Fraser or Callum Wilson, Jason Tindall’s side will have their work cut out against a strong City outfit.
City boss Pep Guardiola has already confirmed that he’s likely to select a youthful side. The Spaniard shared with the Man City website that the quest for a fourth-successive Carabao Cup will be aided by the academy.
Fighting for a fifth Premier League title, the domestic campaign will be on Guardiola’s mind as he selects a suitable starting 11 for Thursday. The side who beat Wolves 3-1 at the Molineux on Monday night, will likely be saved for the Leicester City tie on Sunday.
Seven first team City players are unavailable through both injury and illness. Sky Blues midfielder Bernardo Silva joins Joao Cancelo, Aleks Zinchenko, Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero in the treatment room. Ilkay Gundogan cannot play in the cup due to testing positive for Covid-19.
Returning after stitches and now well rested, it is possible that Eric Garcia could feature against the South Coast opposition. Aymeric Laporte could also be in contention, returning to training following a coronavirus test.
On the bench against Wolves sat youngsters Liam Delap, Tommy Doyle and Adrian Bernabe. All three could make their senior debut’s against Bournemouth. It is expected that Guardiola will rest new captain Fernandinho for when the Foxes come to town.
Signed from Bournemouth in the summer transfer window, City defender Nathan Ake will not get the chance to play against his former club.
Bournemouth’s Joshua King has been given permission to stay in Norway to recover from injury.
Tindall will likely make changes following the Cherries’ 1-1 with Middlesbrough on the weekend. Opportunities may arise for the likes of Ofoborh and Zemura. Charlie Daniels remains injured.
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Steffen; Ogbeta, Adarabioyo, Harwood-Bellis, Dionkou, Bernabé, Doyle, Ilic, Moreno, Delap
Bournemouth (3-5-2): Begovic; Kelly, Simpson, Ofoborh, Stacey, Arter, Cook, Billing, Zemura, Surridge, Brooks
Manchester City last five games: WLWLW
Bournemouth last five games: LWWWD
Ones To Watch
The son of former Stoke City and Republic of Ireland star Rory Delap, City forward Liam Delap is a fast, powerful and explosive 17-year-old with a thirst for goals. The former Derby County striker stands at over 6”, has been capped by the England U17’s and featured in Guardiola’s squad against Wolves.
The visitors will look to rely on 22-year-old Sam Surridge who has made a positive impression since stepping up to first team ranks for Bournemouth. Impressing against both Palace and Boro so far this season, the 6”2’ forward will be eager to get off the mark against one of the biggest sides in English football.
The two sides last met in the Premier League. City beat Bournemouth 2-1 at home last season – David Silva, Gabriel Jesus and David Brooks with the goals.
Previously the two teams have met on nine occasions in the Premier League. Scoring 30 goals in those games, City have won all nine clashes.
Where To Watch
In the UK, supporters will be able to watch the game via the Carabao Cup live streaming platform. Match passes are available for £10, with prices set by the EFL, who are responsible for the broadcast.
The game kicks off on Thursday 24th September, at 7.45pm BST.
Speaking to the Manchester City website, City manager Pep Guardiola focused on team selection:
“Against Bournemouth we will play mostly players in the academy and try to keep energy for the Premier League.
“With the lack of preparation and seven players out, we have to keep the players who played today as fresh as possible.”
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Bournemouth boss Jason Tindall shared his excitement ahead of the third round clash:
“It will be a great opportunity for the players who are selected to play and a chance to go and give a good account of themselves. We are really looking forward to that game.”