Manchester City will take on Championship side Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup third-round fixture on Sunday afternoon.
After winning the treble last term, the Citizens started the new season promisingly, but they faced a bumpy ride in a few games before their Club World Cup assignment.
However, having returned from Saudi Arabia after becoming the World champions, Pep Guardiola’s side have started to find the momentum once again.
They are currently third in the Premier League table with 40 points from 19 games, sitting five points behind the league leader Liverpool with a game in hand. So, Man City have been showing signs that they would be able to mount a title charge once again this term.
On the other hand, Man City’s Sunday’s opponent have struggled so far this season, languishing down 21st in the Championship and sitting only three points off the bottom three.
Darren Moore’s side will be coming into this game off the back of two consecutive defeats and in addition, they have only won one out of their last eight games.
So, the visitors are currently very low in confidence and it’s almost unimaginable that they will be able to take anything from Sunday’s game, especially given the match is at the Etihad Stadium.
Man City have been dominant against Huddersfield in recent times as they have won four out of the last six games in all competitions, drawing the rest.
How to watch
The game will kick off at 2 pm UK time and the match will be televised live on the BBC red button service in the UK.
Supporters who want to watch the game live in person can buy Manchester City tickets through the usual club channels and via trusted reseller sites.
Erling Haaland has been sidelined over the last few weeks due to an injury issue so it is unlikely that he will be able to feature in this game. John Stones is also set to remain sidelined having recently sustained an injury against Everton.
Jeremy Doku has also been sidelined in recent times owing to an injury but he has returned to training and he could be in the matchday squad this weekend.
The Citizens have been affected by a virus recently and as a result of that, Scott Carlson, Matheus Nunes, Kalvin Phillips and Bernardo Silva are in doubt ahead of this encounter. In addition, Rodri is likely to be unavailable for selection in this fixture due to a family issue.
For Huddersfield, they have been struggling with several injury problems at the moment as Oliver Turton, Patrick Jones, Jonathan Hogg, Kian Harratt, Josh Ruffels, Matty Pearson, Daniel Ward, Chris Maxwell and Delano Burgzorg are all set to remain sidelined for this game owing to their respective problems.
The new addition to Huddersfield Town’s long injury list is Jaheim Headley – who sustained an injury in the last game against Leicester City. Additionally, Charles Ondo and Yuta Nakayama have joined with their respective nations to play in the AFCON and AFC Asian Cup respectively. So, they aren’t in contention to feature versus the Premier League champions.
Guardiola is likely to take this game as an opportunity to rotate his squad and give his fringe players a chance. So, Stefan Ortega should be in goal for the hosts in this fixture.
Josko Gvardiol and Manual Akanji could be deployed at the heart of Man City’s defence, while Kyle Walker and Sergio Gomez might be the two fullbacks.
Mateo Kovacic should be in the defensive midfield position alongside Rico Lewis. Kevin de Bruyne has been sidelined over the last few months but was among the substitutes in the previous game against Sheffield United. So, he might start in this game to get some valuable game time.
Oscar Bobb and Phil Foden could be on either flank, while Julian Alvarez should lead the line for Man City on Sunday.
Expected Man City line-up vs Huddersfield
Ortega; Walker, Akanji, Gvardiol, Gomez; Kovacic, Lewis; Foden, De Bruyne, Bobb; Alvarez
As for Huddersfield, Moore is likely to go with a conservative approach in this game and may deploy a 5-3-2 formation. Lee Nicholls could be in goal for the visitors and in front of the Englishman, David Kasumu, Tom Lees, Michal Helik, Tom Edwards, and Loick Ayina could be the back five.
Jack Rudoni, Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Ben Wiles should be in the engine room, while Josh Koroma and Sorma Thomas might be the two centre-forwards for Huddersfield.
Expected Huddersfield line-up vs Man City
Nicholls; Kasumu, Lees, Helik, Edwards, Ayina; Rudoni, Edmonds-Green, Wiles; Koroma, Thomas
The onus will be on Alvarez to finish off chances to help his side earn a comfortable victory in this fixture. If De Bruyne starts then it is going to be interesting to see whether he can showcase his best in this game after a long injury lay-off. However, should he performs at his best then Huddersfield Town will have to find a way to stop him in order to come away with a positive result from this fixture.
Amid Rodri’s absentees, Man City have struggled this season so the responsibility is likely to be on the shoulder of experienced Kovacic to fill the void of the former Atletico Madrid star.
The two wide men, Bobb and Foden if they start, will be given the responsibility of stretching the opposition’s backline to create gaps in Huddersfield’s defensive structure.
As for Huddersfield, Moore’s first eleven need to display the best performance of their career to stop City from winning this game. Nicholls will have to showcase a heroic display between the sticks to repel City’s attempt, while their back five will have to be organised and disciplined to keep the opposition attack at bay.
Huddersfield Town’s striker duo need to work in tandem to make the most use of the possession and threaten the Man City defence. They are unlikely to get many chances in this fixture so they have to be clinical in front of the goal to give their side the slightest of hopes to come away with a positive result from this encounter.
Man City are heavy favourite to win this game and it’s highly unlikely that a struggling Huddersfield side will be able to knock the Citizens out of this competition at this early stage.
The visitors are expected to be conservative in this game and they will be looking to stay in the game as long as possible, but they would be pressurised heavily by the host – which may eventually prove to be too much for them to handle.
So, Man City are expected to win this game easily and by a big margin, however, it is going to be interesting to see how the game eventually pans out on Sunday afternoon. Man City 4-0 Huddersfield
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