Cheltenham vs Manchester City Preview: Team News, Predicted Line-ups and How to Watch
Manchester City prepare for Cheltenham in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup | Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Getty Images

Manchester City visit Cheltenham in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Saturday. The clash will be the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Pep Guardiola’s City reached the semi-final in their previous campaign, losing to Arsenal at Wembley Stadium in the summer. The last time City failed to reach the fifth round was in 2015.

League Two Cheltenham on the other hand, have only ever reached the fifth round once in their history.

  • Last time out

City face the Robins off the back of a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Second half goals from Bernardo Silva and İlkay Gündoğan sent City temporarily top of the table at the Etihad Stadium.

Cheltenham’s last outing came in League Two against Newport County. The side from Gloucestershire drew 1-1 with their Welsh visitors.

County’s Tom King opened the scoring early in the first half. A Matty Blair equaliser followed just before half time.

  • Last time they met

The two teams have never previously met. Michael Duff’s side have lost all eight of their FA Cup/League Cup meetings with top-flight opposition.

City have won their last seven FA Cup games against teams from a lower division by an aggregate score of 26-4.

  • Recent form

City are unbeaten in their last 16 games in all competitions and will play Cheltenham having won their last nine.

Sat second in the Premier League table, two points off the top and with a game in hand league leaders and rivals Manchester United, City are high flying.

City made light work of Birmingham City in their last League Cup outing. Guardiola’s side beat the Blues 3-0 at the Etihad.

Cheltenham are unbeaten in their last five games and currently sit sixth in League Two.

  • Team news

City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a hamstring injury. The Belgium suffered the injury during Wednesday's win against Villa and could miss up to 10 matches (including the Champions League last-16 first-leg tie with Borussia Monchengladbach).

Sergio Aguero has tested positive for Covid-19. The City forward has only played a total of 141 minutes across five appearances this season. He will miss the trip to Cheltenham.

City defender Kyle Walker picked up a knock in mid-week and so will not be available.

Nathan Ake is still not ready to play for City.

Cheltenham defender Chris Hussey will be unavailable having sustained an injury against Newport.

Robins midfielder Elliot Bonds will also be sidelined.

Predicted line-ups

Cheltenham: Griffiths; Raglan, Tozer, Boyle; Blair, Clements, Azaz, Sercombe, Freestone; Lloyd, May

City: Steffen; Cancelo, Harwood-Bellis, Laporte, Mendy; Doyle, Fernandinho, Silva; Torres, Jesus, Palmer

Where to watch

Fans can tune in to watch the game for free on BBC One from 5:20pm. The match will also be available on BBC iPlayer.

Managers’ comments

Pep Guardiola:

“I know the Premier League is the most important one and the Champions League is the second most important one, but four finals in a row in the Carabao Cup is because every game is important.

“When we lose it is because the opponent is better or we made a bad performance, but not because I don’t care for this competition.

“Cheltenham deserve my respect.

“I am more curious than other games because I don’t know them. I have had to pay more attention to what they are like as a team.

“Now I am going to play the team against Cheltenham and today we watched them, all the team, we are training exactly what we want to do to try and beat them.”

Michael Duff:

“This would be the biggest upset in cup history, just because of their dominance against Premier League teams.

“One of their players’ wages for the week would probably pay our whole payroll for a couple of months but that’s football. There are always the haves and the have nots.

“Their form has been off the charts. You need a lot of luck, players to play out of their skin and Man City to have a real off day.”