This weekend, it’s back to FA Cup action as promotion hopefuls Cardiff City host Premier League leaders Manchester City. The last meeting between the sides came in January 2014 when Manchester City won 4-2 at home to avenge the reverse match the previous August that saw the Welsh outfit claim a shock 3-2 win.
Neil Warnock/s side who are currently in the promotion hunt (3rd – two points behind Derby County and a solitary point ahead of Aston Villa) will be making their first 4th round bow in three years (they were beaten by Reading last time). They’ll be going all out as they bid to make a first Wembley appearance in 10 years.
Pep Guardiola’s side will be raring to go one step further than last season where they were beaten by Arsenal at the semi-final stage and will be looking to win their first FA Cup since 2011 (they’re still competing on all four fronts by the way).
The last time Manchester City lost to a Championship side, they lost to Middlesbrough in 2015, with ex-Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford amongst the scores that year (Manchester City would exact revenge in the quarter-finals last season) Funnily enough, it was at this exact stage. Guardiola’s side will not want a repeat of that if they’re to continue their quest of becoming the first English side to win four trophies in a single season.
Neil Warnock voiced that his side were unlucky to lose Sean Morrison, Aron Gunnarsson, Kenneth Zohore and Craig Bryson but have been coping and are bouncing back.
He thought of resting a couple of his players but wants his side to perform as best as they can.
Kyle Walker suffered an injury towards the end of the League Cup second leg versus Bristol City, but it’s not serious and Pep Guardiola said that he would be fine.
Other than that, the rest of the squad is fit.
Thoughts ahead of the game
I hope for an entertaining encounter with both sides going full throttle. Though the Premier League leaders are favourites, I wouldn’t totally rule out a “cupset”.
Manchester City are the undeniable favourites here, so I’d have to back them to beat Cardiff City away.
Do you think Cardiff City have got what it takes to pull off an unlikely result, or will it be a comprehensive win for the league leaders?