Manchester City will begin the defence of their Carabao Cup crown for a fifth consecutive season, when they welcome League One side Wycombe Wanderers to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Blues, who are unbeaten in the Carabao Cup since October 2016, will be facing Wycombe Wanderers for the first time this century in midweek.
Manchester City secured the League Cup trophy for a fourth successive season last April, when a late Aymeric Laporte header proved to be the difference against a stubborn Tottenham side.
On Tuesday night, the Premier League Champions will look to avoid a possible upset when they face Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe side, with the Buckinghamshire based club having been controversially relegated from the Championship last season.
The Chairboys have required penalty shoot-outs in each of their last two Carabao Cup fixtures, with a 5-3 shoot-out victory against Stevenage having set-up a clash with the reigning Premier League Champions and last season’s Champions League finalists.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has said that he will “play a few young players”, when asked about his possible team selection for Tuesday’s match, as Manchester City’s injury list continues to grow.
Guardiola has also confirmed that five first-team players remain sidelined through injury, with Rodri, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Aymeric Laporte and Oleksandr Zinchenko all set to be ruled out for Tuesday’s match.
After returning to the UK following a positive Covid-19 test in the USA earlier this month, goalkeeper Zack Steffen can be expected to make his second start of the season, after the American played against Leicester in the Community Shield.
Ahead of the goalkeeper, one expects to see a first-team debut for 18 year-old defender Luke Mbete, who will be will be partnered alongside Nathan Ake in Manchester City’s central defence.
Either side of the centre-backs will be Joao Cancelo, with the Portuguese star reverting back to his favoured right-back role. Meanwhile, a senior debut will be awarded to Joshua Wilson-Esbrand, with the teenage left-back having been named on the Manchester City substitutes bench at the weekend.
Also expected to make his first-team debut on Tuesday night will be 17 year-old Romeo Lavia. The teenager was named as the EDS Player of the Year last season, and with Rodri’s injury coupled with huge upcoming matches which will likely feature Fernandinho, Wycombe provides Pep Guardiola with the perfect opportunity to hand this defensive midfield prodigy a debut.
Making up the midfield three will be fellow prodigy Cole Palmer, who has already featured in two first-team matches this season. The 19 year-old midfielder started against Leicester at Wembley and was brought on against Norwich in August.
Alongside the teenager will be Phil Foden, with Tuesday’s match a great chance for the 21 year-old to continue his recovery from injury before huge consecutive matches away from home against Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain, and Liverpool in that order.
It took less than twenty minutes for Liam Delap to score against Bournemouth in the third round last season, and one can hope for something similar this year, with the teenage striker expected to lead the line for the Blues on Tuesday evening.
Either side of the forward will be Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres, with the Spaniard returning to the flank despite impressive performances in the false-nine role recently.
Substitutes: Scott Carson, Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, James McAtee, Kevin de Bruyne, Samuel Edozie, Raheem Sterling.