As Manchester City welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium, the Blues would be aware of the giant-killing that took place on Tuesday night.
While a lot of managers have been known to use the Capital One Cup to give their younger and more promising players an opportunity, Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini however, has been playing strong sides in the tournament.
a [The Capital One Cup] is not only special for me, ita s important for the group. We are talking yesterday about this cup and the other cups here in England,” Pellegrini was quoted as saying in Daily Express. a When you play a cup final at Wembley with 90,000 people ita s a very important cup. Ita s important to try to continue in the competition.
a When you have a strong squad, ita s good for the players who, for different reasons, arena t playing,” he continued Maybe thata s not the case for us at this moment because we have many injured players. But ita s important for the players also to play in the competition.”
However, Pellegrini would be without the services of key players like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Fabian Delph and Gael Clichy, which limits their bench options quite a lot, at a phase of the season, when they are having to play two matches every week.
Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who has been in rampant form this season, also looked jaded, in their derby encounter with arch-rivals Manchester United, on Sunday. The Belgian has already made 14 competitive appearances for club and country this season, and could do with some rest. However, he might yet have to wait for that much needed rest, as Fernandinho is suspended for this match, limiting Pellegrini’s options in the middle of the park.
Dwight Gayle’s return gives Crystal Palace some options up front
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew would heave a sigh of relief, as forward Dwight Gayle is available for selection again, after being suspended for the Leicester City match, last weekend. This would be a welcome news for Pardew, as his striking options are quite limited with forwards Marouane Chamakh and Connor Wickham are both injured.
Crystal Palace have done well under Alan Pardew this season, and have been challenging for the top-four spots, until their last two defeats to West Ham United and Leicester City. They would certainly be one of the toughest oppositions that Manchester City could face, at this stage of the tournament.