The first Carabao Cup semi-final first leg takes place at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening when Lee Johnson’s Bristol City take on all-conquering Manchester City who are still chasing an unprecedented quadruple. If you’re looking for Carabao Cup tips for this game then read on for all our football tips, stats and analysis ahead of the big match.
Carabao Cup Tips: Manchester City Team News
Man City boss Pep Guardiola has already made it clear he intends to take the match seriously and play a strong team against the Championship outfit, despite the exhausting schedule his side have faced which has seen them play midweek and weekends every week since the October international break.
That being said, Guardiola has confirmed that there will be some rotation to the team, with players who didn’t start in the 4-1 FA Cup win over Burnley coming into the team. That could mean Kyle Walker and Elaquim Mangala coming into the back four while Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva could provide fresher legs going forwards. Should Pep look to younger players there might also be places for defender Tosin Adarabioyo and forward Brahim Diaz.
Leroy Sane might be given the chance to build on his goal against Burnley, which despite being his ninth of the season was his first in 14 games. The 21-year-old German international had won rave reviews this season but Guardiola was also circumspect in his view of the player, saying
“I said to him [Sane] many times, I don’t have doubts how important he is for us, to make movements, runs in behind. It is not easy to live with him.
“But he has still a lot – a lot – of things to improve. In the simple things, he still has mistakes, big mistakes.
Carabao Cup Tips: Bristol City Team News
Bristol City come into the game with most of their first choice players rested with boss Lee Johnson having made nine changes for their 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Watford. It was the Robins’ third successive defeat on the trot and revenge for a Hornets side who lost 3-2 to Bristol City in the League Cup back in August.
One player to come back in will be 24-year-old left back Joe Bryan, who scored the opening goal in their 2-1 win over Manchester United in the quarter-final. It was the fourth goal of the season for the Bristol-born full back, whose value has increased exponentially during the Robins’ current Championship campaign.
While Manchester City are seen as the dominant force at the moment in English football, Johnson has shown no fear in the run up to the game. He told reporters
“Manchester City are up there with the best teams England has ever seen. But at the end of the day they are humans. We’ve competed really well against the top teams, and to beat Manchester United gives us confidence. The boys have shown no fear and we can go and have a go.”
Carabao Cup Tips: Odds and Markets
As can be expected, Manchester are heavy favourites, with odds on them to win trading at around 1.12 in the early betting on Monday. With the handicap line at about 2.5, it seems obvious that the bookies are expecting a heavy win for the Citizens which is also shown in the goals market with over 3.5 goals at only 1.78.
Tipsters on ProTipster are also backing Man City to win heavily with their Carabao Cup tips, with 47 tipsters already backing Pep Guardiola’s men to do the business before Monday lunchtime.
However, like with all cup games it might be worth waiting until the lineups are announced before fully committing to bets. Despite Guardiola’s assertion that he will play a strong team there surely will have to be some changes and that disruption within his team could make for a chance for Bristol City to shock them. Indeed, Burnley showed at the weekend that there are weaknesses within the Man City defence and while on paper this game should be a walk in the park for the home side at the Etihad, these things often have a way of throwing up surprises.