Manchester City vs Bristol City Preview: Can the Robins cause an upset in the first leg at the Etihad?

Manchester City will be looking to continue their pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple on Tuesday evening as they take on Bristol City in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City vs Bristol City Preview: Can the Robins cause an upset in the first leg at the Etihad?
Manchester City vs Bristol City Preview: Can the Robins cause an upset in the first leg at the Etihad? (picture: Getty Images / Matthew Ashton - AMA)

Manchester City will be looking to continue their pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple on Tuesday evening as they take on Bristol City in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola's side continued their impressive run of form in all competitions on Saturday afternoon as they secured a comfortable 4-1 victory against Premier League rivals Burnley in the FA Cup third round. 

As for the Robins, Lee Johnson decided to make a significant number of changes to his side as they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road as the Hornets safely progressed through to the fourth round of the competition. 

How they've fared so far

City have grabbed many headlines this season for their unbelievable record which has seen them win all but two of their matches in the top flight so far this campaign. Guardiola's side have without doubt played the best football and thoroughly deserve to be sat 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. 

Despite the fact that Guardiola has talked down the chance of the Citizens securing an unprecedented quadruple come the end of the season, many members of City's squad have reportedly spoken about it. The Carabao Cup is the first opportunity to win silverware with the final coming in February, so City will not be taking their Championship opponents lightly in this one. 

Guardiola did name a second-string side to face Leicester City in their quarter-final clash but this still included a number of quality players such as Danilo, Ilkay Gündogan, Yaya Touré, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus. He is likely to make a number of changes again for this one with a big Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield to come on Sunday afternoon. However, City should still have enough quality on the pitch to get the job done and put themselves in a commanding position ahead of the second leg at Ashton Gate

As for the Robins, they have enjoyed an unbelievable start to the season under the management of Johnson. The 36-year-old came under pressure on numerous occasions last season as he eventually managed to steer the club away from relegation to League One. A lot of credit has been given to the club's hierarchy for sticking with Johnson despite losing eight games in a row at one point last season. 

The Robins are currently sat fourth in the Championship, just two points behind Derby County who occupy the second automatic promotion place. Their form has tailed off slightly in recent weeks having only won one of their last four league outings and they were thrashed 5-0 by promotion rivals Aston Villa at Villa Park last time out. They will be looking to address this dip in form at the weekend as they face Norwich City at Ashton Gate on Saturday afternoon. 

However, for now their attention will be on trying to cause another upset in the Carabao Cup at the Etihad. The Robins secured a famous 2-1 victory against Manchester United in the previous round courtesy of goals from Joe Bryan and Korey Smith and will have full belief that they can upset the odds once again.  

City have looked unstoppable so far this season. (picture: Getty Images / Clive Brunskill)
City have looked unstoppable so far this season. (picture: Getty Images / Clive Brunskill)

Last time they met 

The Citizens last played Bristol City in the League Cup in a 2-1 win at Ashton Gate in August 2007. Émile Mpenza had given City the lead in the first-half before Bradley Orr got the home side back on level terms after the break. However, Rolando Bianchi's superb winner with ten minutes left to play was enough to send City through to the third round of the competition. 

Team news 

Early reports have suggested that Claudio Bravo and Gündogan may retain their place in City's starting line-up for this one following the FA Cup win at the weekend. However, both Phil Foden and Jesus have been ruled out through injury and will be unavailable for selection. 

As for the Robins, Johnson continues to deal with a lengthy injury list. They will again be without long-term absentees Jens Hegeler, Gary O'Neil, Callum O'Dowda and Ivan Lucic