Leicester City – Manchester City (Capital One Cup)
The Capital One Cup Quarter-final are up and the draw dictated a Leicester City versus Manchester City. Both managers claim this is not a priority for their respective teams. Yes, sure, the Leagues are first and December’s schedule is madding. But that does not mean they won’t try to win it, the best they can. Want a bet?
Leicester City dropped from 1st to 3rd in the Championship after a three games series without a victory. Last weekend’s equalizer (1-1) with Burnley was quite disappointing. And now the Foxes face the daunting prospect of going head-to-head with the most demolishing attack of the English football. Manager Nigel Pearson came public with downplaying the League Cup fixture, stating that their main objective had to be promotion to the Premier League and if that meant benching some of the best players, so be it. To add to the equation Leicester’s next game, on Saturday, will be against Queen’s Park Rangers, the current leaders of the Championship. And for the Foxes rotation is an eccentric concept way above their budget.
To get to this point Leicester City had to overcome Wycombe Wanderers (1-2), Carlisle United (2-5), Derby County (2-1) and Fulham (4-3).
Sean St. Leger (groin), Chris Wood (hamstring) and Tom Hopper (shin) are all out injured.
Probable line-up: Schmeichel – Wasilewski, Moore, Miquel, Konchesky – Knockaert, Hammond, King, Dyer – Schlupp, Taylor-Fletcher.
Manchester City are the talk of the town, every town, at the moment. Beating the defending European Champions and the leaders of the Premier League in the same week, scoring 9 goals in the process, will do that for you. The Citizens forward block are a sight for sore eyes. They have everything. David Silva is the creativity wizard, he can see a few moves ahead of the others and put the pieces in motion. Aguero has the resourcefulness and the killer instinct the ideal striker should have and Álvaro Negredo follows on his footsteps. Nasri, Navas, Milner, Touré. Pellegrini has the luxury of rotating five or six starters and nothing significant changes. Whoever goes in excels, that’s how City is rolling. That’s every managers dream world and the Chilean gets to live it. He will do just that on Tuesday at King Power Stadium, starting Joe Hart in the keeper position and introducing to the XI the likes of Rodwell, Dzeko, Navas and Milner. The thorn in this team’s side remains the away form. In their travels this season they’ve been beaten by Cardiff, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Sunderland; Stoke and Southampton held them to draws. The recent overwhelming performances, both in English and European competitions, are yet to prove that’s behind them.
Aguero will miss at least a month due to a calf injury.
Probable line-up: Joe Hart – Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov – Rodwell, Garcia – Navas, Nasri, Milner – Dzeko.
Tuesday night we’ll watch a tale of two Cities, one more modest, another a millionaire. But both dealing with their circumstances and trying to make the most of it. They’ve met last at King Power Stadium in January 2011 and the Foxes forced City to a 2-2 stalemate. The replay match went 4-2 for the Citizens. The guys from Manchester are clearly favourites but Leicester’s lads will want to show themselves to the world of football and that kind of motivation goes a long way. Will the underdogs breakthrough?