Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Burton Albion

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 9 Jan 2019

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Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Burton Albion face English champions Manchester City in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final clash at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

Manchester City

Starting with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, while the Sky Blues might be chasing down a four-point deficit to Liverpool in the Premier League table, their 2-1 win over the Reds last week appears to have given them a much-needed boost. Putting seven past Championship side Rotherham and booking their spot in the fourth round of this year’s FA Cup, the defending EFL champions will be looking to put on another show on Wednesday night. Now scoring 12 in their last three appearances across all competitions, City also boasts a stellar record when up against lower league opposition. The hosts have progressed from their last 10 League Cup ties against sides from a lower division, including a 3-0 win at League One side Oxford United in this season’s third round. With the former Barcelona boss expected to name a starting XI glittering with talent, one man, in particular, to watch out for will be leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero. Since returning from injury, the 30-year-old has scored in his last two consecutive outings.

Team News

Manchester City have no fresh injury concerns for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Burton Albion.

Left-back Benjamin Mendy is training alone but is expected to be unavailable for selection for two to three weeks.

Burton Albion

As for the visitors, while Nigel Clough’s side will know that they will travel to the Etihad as the most overwhelming of underdogs, there is no doubt that Burton will be boosted by their impressive recent run of form. Along with knocking out the likes of Aston Villa and Middlesbrough on route to the semi-final, The Brewers are the first League One side to reach this stage of the League Cup since Sheffield United in 2014-15. It is also worth noting that Clough was in charge of that Blades side. Now coming off the back of a 4-0 win over Rochdale last week, Burton are enjoying a four-match unbeaten run and appear to have bounced back from a woeful start to life in England’s third-tier that saw them suffer four five defeats in their opening six games. While Clough will be trying to inspire his squad with Burton’s famous 0-0 draw with Manchester United back in 2006, The Brewers will know they face an incredibly tough test on Wednesday night.

Team News

Burton midfielder Stephen Quinn and defender John Brayford face late fitness tests for the Brewers’ trip to Etihad Stadium.

Scott Fraser and Jamie Allen are available for the League One club.

Key Factors to Consider

  • This is the first competitive meeting between Manchester City and Burton Albion.
  • Man City are participating in their 11th League Cup semi-final, qualifying for the final on six occasions (1969-70, 1973-74, 1975-76, 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2017-18); this is Burton’s first League Cup semi-final.
  • The defending EFL champions have now scored 12 goals in their last three matches.
  • Burton have eliminated a team from a higher division in four previous rounds of this season’s League Cup, with only three teams ever eliminating five in one campaign – Swindon Town in 1968-69, Chester City in 1974-75 and Bradford City in 2012-13.
  • This will be the third time Clough has managed in a League Cup semi-final, taking charge of Derby’s second leg – a 2-4 defeat – against Man Utd in 2008-09 and leading Sheffield United to that stage in the 2014-15 campaign, when they lost to Spurs.

Conclusion

While Burton might be enjoying their brightest spell of the season in League One, it is almost impossible to see them pulling off a seismic upset on Wednesday night. Given Guardiola is expected to name a strong squad in order to rap up the tie in the first-leg, we’re expecting Sergio Aguero to enjoy another successful night in front of goal.

Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 11/10

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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