Manchester City start their journey to reclaim the Carabao Cup when they visit Newcastle on Wednesday night in the third round.
City were forced to make do without their regular League Cup last win, instead winning a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble.
Pep Guardiola’s side saw off Nottingham Forest 2-0 in their most recent outing and will take on the Magpies without holding midfielder Rodri, who was sent off for his part in a scuffle with Morgan Gibbs-White at the Etihad and is suspended.
Here’s the team Guardiola, who admitted mass changes are likely before the game, could field at St James’ Park.
GK: Stefan Ortega – Has been the safest understudy to Ederson during Guardiola’s time in charge and will start as their cup goalie.
RB: Rico Lewis – Kyle Walker was name-dropped by Guardiola as a player in need of a rest following a brutal club and international schedule. Lewis will come in as a natural replacement.
CB: Manuel Akanji – Enjoyed City’s league win over Newcastle earlier in the campaign, claiming he couldn’t “remember 100% any chance of theirs”.
CB: Nathan Ake – A utility player often shuffled around the backline, Ake’s partnership with Akanji will be crucial in the expected absence of Ruben Dias.
LB: Sergio Gomez – Josko Gvardiol’s arrival looks to have limited Gomez’s opportunities further. He’ll be wondering what to do next if he doesn’t start on Wednesday.
CM: Matheus Nunes – Has started City’s last two games and will take on more responsibility in midfield with Rodri suspended.
CM: Kalvin Phillips – Must look to take this chance in midfield, with his struggles for game time notorious since signing from Leeds.
RW: Phil Foden – Finished off a flowing 46-pass move against Forest for his first club goal of the season. Also netted against Scotland for England a few weeks ago.
AM: Julian Alvarez – Blanked in the win over Forest – much to the chagrin of the 1.3m FPL managers who brought him into their teams.
LW: Jeremy Doku – Recently drew comparisons with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane from Guardiola for his explosive pace.
ST: Erling Haaland – Has only one previous goal in the Carabao Cup, which is a complete disgrace when compared to his scoring records in other competitions.
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