Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Prediction: Burton vs Manchester City

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 22 Jan 2019

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Verdict: Gabriel Jesus to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester City are within two games of defending their EFL Cup trophy as they face what is effectively dead rubber second leg in their semi-final tie against Burton.

Burton

Starting with Nigel Clough’s side, while their 9-0 hammering at the Etihad may have dampened the mood in Burton’s camp, fans around the Pirelli Stadium should be proud of reaching the semi-final for the first time in their club’s history. Sadly for Wednesday’s hosts, they host the defending EFL champions coming off the back of a worrying pair of results. Picking up a 2-2 draw against Doncaster last weekend, the Yellows also suffered a 3-2 loss in their last home match against Gillingham. Now slipping out of the top half of the League One table and holding a six-point buffer over the relegation zone, it will be the Brewers recent defensive issues giving Clough the biggest cause for concern. Burton have now managed to record just one clean sheet Staffordshire in their last 10 attempts, a run that stems back to the start of October. With their fate all but confirmed in Manchester a fortnight ago, the hosts will simply be looking for a one-off victory over the Premier League heavyweights.

Team News

Scott Fraser and Jamie Allen are doubts for Burton. Fraser is nursing a knee injury following the League One draw at Doncaster at the weekend, while fellow midfielder Allen has been playing despite an ankle problem in recent weeks.

New signings Josh Clarke and Colin Daniel definitely miss out.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, while Manchester City might be chasing a seven-point deficit to Liverpool in the race to defend their Premier League crown, Pep Guardiola’s side are enjoying arguably their brightest run of form. Picking up a pair of 3-0 win over Wolves and Huddersfield since putting nine past the Brewers, the former Barcelona boss will be most impressed by his sides recent form at the back. Now enjoying a six-match winning run over all competitions, the Sky Blues have now gone nearly 400 minuets without conceding a single goal in return. With Sergio Aguero recalled to City’s starting XI for their 3-0 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday, it is expected that Brazilian international Gabriel Jesus will feature on Tuesday. Enjoying a very bright start to the New Year, the 21-year-old has now bagged seven goals in his last three appearances, including four against Burton in the first-leg. With Guardiola’s side now holding the best-attacking record across Europe, Jesus should be confident of extending his goalscoring tally.

Team News

Benjamin Mendy could be on the bench for City at the Pirelli Stadium. The French left-back has been out since November following knee surgery but has been training for the past week and is nearing a return.

Guardiola is set rotate his squad but has confirmed playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will be among the senior players to feature. Goalkeeper Aro Muric and midfielder Phil Foden are set to come in.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City are looking to reach consecutive League Cup finals for the first time.
  • Burton mustered just one shot on target against Man City in the first leg, with that coming from Lucas Akins after just seven seconds.
  • Man City’s 9-0 win over Burton in the first leg is the biggest ever margin of victory in a semi-final of English cup competition.
  • Man City’s Gabriel Jesus has scored five goals in the League Cup this season, including four against Burton in the first leg.
  • Burton have won two of their last three home games against Premier League opposition

Conclusion

Although Pep Guardiola’s side do hold a nine-goal advantage heading into Wednesday’s second-leg, City’s youngsters will be looking to be as ruthless as usual. With Jesus likely to lead the line, we’re backing the young Brazilian to enjoy another fruitful evening in front of goal.

Verdict: Gabriel Jesus to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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