By 90Min
September 24, 2018

Manchester City will switch their attentions to the Carabao Cup when they travel to League One outfit Oxford United on Tuesday evening.

This is the first taste of domestic cup action for Pep Guardiola's side this season as, alongside any other English team who have been involved in European action, they enter into the cup at the third round stage.

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They will face an Oxford side who have managed to dispatch Coventry City and Newport County on their way to the third round. It will be the club's biggest match in their recent history and they will be hoping that they can cause a serious upset.


League Form

For a team that are supposedly not playing to the best of their potential, Manchester City are doing a very decent job in the Premier League so far this season.

The Citizens sit in second behind Liverpool, having won five of their six matches so far. Their only blip came in the form of a 1-1 draw away to Wolves and their last match was a 5-0 demolition job over Cardiff City.   

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The same cannot be said for Oxford. They are currently languishing in the relegation zone in League One and have just one league win to their name. Their last match was a 2-1 defeat to Walsall.


Key Battle

This match will give Guardiola the opportunity to give some of his current fringe players the chance to earn some first team minutes and one player who more than deserves a start is Phil Foden.

The youngster is one of the brightest talents in English football right now and a good showing against Oxford could convince his manager that he deserves to be getting on the pitch more regularly as the season progresses.

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He'll be playing against a midfield which will include Shandon Baptiste, a youngster who has progressed through the ranks at Oxford. He has been playing well since stepping in to the midfield following a recent injury crisis, but this will be a whole new test in itself.


Team News


Guardiola is certain to rest a host of his current first team regulars as he looks to keep things as fresh as possible and avoid any needless injuries. 

The likes of Arijanet Muric, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Brahim Diaz and Phil Foden could all be in line for a first start of the season.

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Oxford are going through a crisis when it comes to injuries and are set to be without first team regulars Marcus Brown, Jamie Mackie, Rob Hall and Samir Carruthers.


Predicted Oxford United Lineup: Mitchell; Norman, Mousinho, Nelson, Garbutt; Hanson, Baptiste, Whyte, Henry, Holmes; Smith.


Predicted Manchester City Lineup: Muric; Danilo, Komany, Otamendi, Delph; Fernandinho, Foden, Zinchenko; Diaz, Mahrez, Jesus.


Predictions

When it comes to domestic cup competitions, the cliche does often prove true - upsets can always happen.

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Manchester City know this all too well after their shock defeat to Wigan last season, so you can be rest assured that Guardiola is drumming the importance of this match into his players heads.


The rotated squad should still have enough for Oxford, who may just crumble if City can grab an early goal.

Predicted Scoreline: Oxford United 0-3 Manchester City

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