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First team

Media View: Expert insight on Man City

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will be hoping to make further progress when they face holders Manchester City in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Thursday (7.45pm kick-off).

Jason Tindall’s team set up a trip to the Etihad Stadium after triumphing 11-10 on penalties against Crystal Palace, the tie deadlocked at 0-0 at full-time.

The prize for the winners is a visit to either Millwall or Burnley in the last 16, the Lions hosting the Clarets at the New Den tonight.

Ahead of the clash, afcb.co.uk caught up with Joe Bray who covers the fortunes of City for the Manchester Evening News.

MANCHESTER CITY IN PROFILE

Manager: Pep Guardiola (appointed July 2016)

Captain: Fernandinho

Last game: Wolves 1-3 City (Premier League)

Top goalscorer 2019/20: Raheem Sterling (31 in all competitions) 

League Cup best: Seven-time winners (1970, 1976, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)

League Cup 2019/20: Winners (beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the final) 

afcb.co.uk: How did Nathan Ake fare on his debut in Monday’s 3-1 win at Wolves?

I thought Ake looked like he’d been playing in City’s system for ages, which is a pretty high compliment!

City’s performance meant they weren’t troubled too much by Wolves, but it was a solid debut from Ake and he showed what he will bring to the defence going forward.

afcb.co.uk: How does Pep Guardiola tend to approach Carabao Cup games in terms of selection?

Given that City have won the competition three years running, he normally goes pretty strong – even when playing lower-league opposition.

This season, though, Guardiola says he will play a young academy side to cope with seven first-team injuries and a hectic fixture schedule.

He’ll probably stick to his word, but expect some senior players to feature as Guardiola loves a selection surprise.

afcb.co.uk: Liam Delap (pictured above), son of Rory Delap, scored twice in the EFL Trophy win against Mansfield earlier this month – tell us about him?

He’s prolific in the youth teams and took that into the EFL Trophy against league opposition before being named on the bench against Wolves.

He’s quickly gathering a lot of attention and is a different kind of striker to those City have in the first team.

If Pep does look to the academy for this game, Delap is one of the most in-form options he could pick.

afcb.co.uk: Apart from Delap, which young City player could be one to watch?

Midfielder Tommy Doyle (pictured below) always impresses and has just signed a new long-term contract. I’d be surprised if he didn’t play some part.

Winger Jayden Braaf is an exciting talent with tricky feet, so could be one of the academy forwards Guardiola turns to if he does indeed play a youthful side.

afcb.co.uk: Goalkeeper Louie Moulden is the son of former Cherries and City striker Paul Moulden – what’s your take on him and could he feature on Thursday?

Moulden is one of a number of talented goalkeepers at City but hasn’t featured for the under-23s in either Premier League 2 or EFL Trophy so far this season through injury.

City will almost certainly start new back-up keeper Zack Steffen on Thursday – the US international goalkeeper who signed last year and spent 2019/20 on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

afcb.co.uk: In February 2019, City beat the Cherries 4-1 in the FA Youth Cup and Felix Nmecha, Eric Garcia and Ben Knight (pictured above congratulating Garcia) were among the scorers – could any of them feature on Thursday?

Eric Garcia missed the Wolves game with a head injury, but Guardiola said he could return.

Despite saying he won’t sign a new contract and there being interest from Barcelona, he remains a full first-team player these days so would certainly be in contention.

Nmecha and Knight have trained with the first team and continue to do well for the academy, so might be called up.

afcb.co.uk: What’s your score prediction?

This will be Bournemouth’s best chance to get a win at the Etihad but I just don’t trust Guardiola to play a drastically weakened side in the Carabao Cup! I can see City winning 2-1.

You can follow Joe on Twitter – @_joebray 

Officials: Jonathan Moss (referee), Marc Perry (assistant), Neil Davies (assistant), David Coote (fourth official).

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