Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 8/15
The two sides head into the EFL Cup clash in contrasting moods, with Swansea desperate to recover from the dismal start to the season and Manchester City searching for ninth straight win under Pep Guardiola. But, with the Spaniard set to field a second-string side, the hosts will get their chance to defeat their more illustrious opponents.
Former Udinese coach helped the Swans avoid the drop last season, but he has since experienced plenty of problems. Swansea have won a single point since the opening triumph over Burnley, and the atmosphere in the squad is far from perfect. The Italian manager has already clashed with Neil Taylor and Ki Sung-Yueng, who are unhappy at the lack of playing time, and the difficult fixture list is definitely not helping. After the League Cup clash against Manchester City, the Swans will face the same opposition three days later before they take on Liverpool and Arsenal either side of the international break. This means that it could take a while before Swansea return to winning ways and there are no doubts they will be under pressure on Wednesday evening. While team’s back line has suffered since the departure of captain Ashley Williams, the front line is not exactly in fine working order, with the likes of Llorente, Baston and Barrow yet to open their goalscoring accounts. Key playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson has so far only scored one penalty goal, and he will need some more time to rediscover his form after playing for Iceland at the Euro 2016 finals.
Francesco Guidolin has made it clear that Neil Taylor will return to the starting line-up, while Angel Rangel, Borja Baston, Leon Britton and Jefferson Montero should start as well.
Nathan Dyer has undergone a surgery on his ankle and he will not return at least for another two months, but there are no other worries for the boss.
Manchester City have enjoyed a remarkable start to the season under Pep Guardiola, who is quickly proving why he is regarded one of world’s best managers. The Spaniard has clearly made this team a lot better than they were last season, and even if the club splashed out on some high-profile footballers in the summer, it was the old guns Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Fernandinho that have made all the difference. Even Guardiola himself is surprised by how well his team have played at times and everybody can see that they can still get better. Despite the fact that he was at blame for one goal on his debut, Claudio Bravo and his impressive passing skills will help the Citizens a great deal in the build-up play, with the return of Ilkay Gundogan also a major boost. Manchester City have now won eight matches in a row, and, taking everything into consideration, we will not be surprised if the excellent run extends at Liberty Stadium. Pep Guardiola will use the opportunity to rest some key men, but even their back-ups will be in a good position to pile more misery on out-of-sorts Swansea City.
Captain Vincent Kompany is expected to return after a four-month injury lay-off, while Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan will also start as their look to improve their match fitness.
Kelechi Iheanacho will continue to deputise for the suspended Sergio Aguero, while Nolito is now banned and Yaya Toure could finally get an opportunity to shine.
Key Factors to Consider
- Swansea lost three of last four Premier League fixtures (D1)
- Manchester City won all eight matches this season
- Man City won six of last eight meetings with Swansea (D2)
- Both teams scored in last five of those matches
- Aguero and Nolito suspended for Man City
Swansea City have been largely struggling for form of late and with the dressing room atmosphere far from perfect at the moment, we don’t think they will be the team to end Man City’s amazing run of results. We fully expect the Citizens to win the game in regular time.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 8/15