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Preview: Manchester City vs. Wycombe Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups
21/09/2021 11:44:33

Manchester City will be bidding to become the most successful team in the history of the League Cup this season, and the Citizens will start their 2021-22 journey at home to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Pep Guardiola's side have won this competition on eight occasions - level with Premier League rivals Liverpool - while they have lifted the trophy in each of the last four campaigns.

We say: Manchester City 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers

Guardiola is expected to make a number of changes for the clash with Wycombe, who will be looking to record one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition. Saturday's draw with Southampton should mean that the home side are fired-up, though, and we cannot see anything other than a routine success for the Citizens.

Match preview

Man City will enter Tuesday's contest off the back of a frustrating goalless draw at home to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and the stalemate certainly came as a surprise considering the team's form in their four matches leading up to the clash with Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

Indeed, the Citizens had beaten Norwich City, Arsenal and Leicester City in their previous three Premier League games before putting six past RB Leipzig in their Champions League opener.

Saturday's 0-0 with Southampton was certainly a setback, and Guardiola's side are fifth in the table, three points behind leaders Chelsea ahead of next weekend's clash between the two teams at Stamford Bridge.

As mentioned, Man City have won the League Cup on eight previous occasions - the same as Liverpool - and they will be bidding to become the most successful team in the competition this term.

The Citizens have dominated the League Cup in recent years, lifting each off the last four trophies, and they beat Tottenham Hotspur in last season's final courtesy of a late goal from Aymeric Laporte; it is down the list in terms of priorities this term, but Guardiola's side have certainly enjoyed themselves in this competition.

Wycombe, meanwhile, were relegated from the Championship last term and are therefore again operating in League One; a promotion push is expected this season, and it has been a solid start to the season, with a total of 14 points from seven matches leaving them in fifth position in the table.

Gareth Ainsworth's side are only two points behind leaders Wigan Athletic, and they will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 home success over Charlton Athletic on Saturday afternoon.

Wycombe have had to play two League Cup fixtures to advance to this stage, meanwhile, and they have won both games on penalties, overcoming Exeter City in round one and Stevenage in round two.

The Blues actually reached the semi-finals of the 2006-07 League Cup, losing to Chelsea, but it would be a huge shock if they progressed any further in this year's competition.

Tuesday's contest will be the first match between these two teams since April 1999, when Wycombe recorded a 2-1 victory over Man City in a Division Two clash, but it would be fair to say that a lot has changed at the Manchester club since then.

Team News

Man City will again be without Benjamin Mendy on Tuesday due to a club suspension, while Zack Steffen is still self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus, so Scott Carson could start between the sticks.

Guardiola will need to assess the fitness of both John Stones and Laporte, who have missed their side's last two matches, but it seems unlikely that either centre-back will be involved even if they are cleared to play.

Rodri and Oleksandr Zinchenko also missed out against Southampton and remain doubts, while Guardiola is expected to make a number of changes to the side that started at the weekend.

Josh Wilson-Esbrand, Cole Palmer, Romeo Lavia and Samuel Edozie could all be in the starting side, while Phil Foden might be given a spot in the XI, as he works his way back from injury.

Wycombe, meanwhile, will make wholesale changes from the side that started in the league against Charlton on Saturday, with two-goal Garath McCleary among those expected to drop out.

Experienced forward Adebayo Akinfenwa is in line for a spot in the final third of the field, and there could also be starts for Anis Mehmeti and Josh Scowen in the attacking areas.

It would not be a surprise to see Ainsworth select a back three at the Etihad Stadium, while there is likely to be a change between the sticks, with David Stockdale being replaced by Adam Przybek.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:

Carson; Walker, Ake, Wilson-Esbrand, Cancelo; Palmer, Fernandinho, Lavia; Foden, F Torres, Edozie

Wycombe Wanderers possible starting lineup:

Przybek; Ram, Tafazolli, Jacobson; Kaikai, Burley, Pendlebury, Obita; Scowen, Akinfenwa, Mehmeti

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