Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Tuesday 1st November 2015, 1945 GMT
Manchester City continue the pursuit for their first piece of silverware of the 2015-2016 season as they host Championship side Hull City at the Etihad in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday
Each of the last two English Premier League winners has also won the Capital One Cup during the course of the season — Manchester City in 2014, and Chelsea FC in 2015. Although the competition is often regarded as the least important among the four that the top Premier League clubs usually participate in, recent history suggests that winning it can act as a catalyst for greater successes in the future.
As such, the Citizens are unlikely to take the competition lightly, particularly considering that they have a real chance of winning it, with Manchester United, Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC all already eliminated from the competition. Despite their injury concerns, City manager Manuel Pellegrini should be able to name a strong side for the game, and Hull City will have their work cut out for them if they wish to cause another League Cup upset.
Team news and Tactics
Manuel Pellegrini will be unable to call upon the services of captain Vincent Kompany, fellow centre-back Eliaquim Mangala, right-back Pablo Zabaleta and midfielder Samir Nasri, who all continue to be sidelined due to injury. Meanwhile, star striker Sergio AgA?ero is also likely to miss the game with an ankle problem, despite the Argentine confirming that the injury was only a knock and not as serious as first feared.
Pellegrini could see the game as an opportunity to give starts to the likes of midfielder Fabian Delph and striker Wilfried Bony, as also Spaniard David Silva, who came on for the final 15 minutes of Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Southampton Saturday.
Manchester City are likely to field a 4-2-3-1 formation with either Fernando or Fernandinho partnering Delph in the midfield double-pivot, while Silva could return to his favoured no.10 role, flanked by Raheem Sterling and JesA?s Navas. The Citizens are likely to dominate possession, but would do well to be wary of Hull City’s threat on the break, with the pace of Ahmed Elmohamady, Abel HernA?ndez, Arsenal FC loanee Chuba Akpom and former West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diam enough to cause problems for the Premier League leaders.
Possible starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Caballero; Sagna, Demichelis, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernando, Delph; Navas, Silva, Sterling; Bony
Steve Bruce’s men have been flying high in the Championship, and despite a couple of blips in their previous two games, the Tigers will travel to the Etihad with the belief that they can cause an upset. Hull City have no new injury concerns, but will be missing the vastly experienced centre-back Michael Dawson due to a hamstring issue, as also midfielder David Meyler because of a knee injury.
The Tigers travel to Leeds United in their next Championship game, and it remains to be seen whether Bruce prioritises that game over the Capital One Cup quarter-final, which the Tigers could well lose despite fielding their strongest XI. There are reports that key players like Diam , Huddlestone, Clucas and HernA?ndez may be given rests, especially since Diam suffered a dead leg in the Tigers’ 2-0 defeat to Derby County on Friday.
Bruce will be relying on his defence — the best in the Championship along with Derby County’s, conceding just 11 goals in 18 games — to frustrate the hosts, and not conceding an early goal will be the key to any success Hull City might have on Tuesday. The longer they can keep the scores level, the greater their chance of winning the game — either due to a lapse in concentration by a City player, or because of the home side over-committing in attack and being caught out on the break.
Possible starting line-up (4-4-1-1): Jakupovi ; Odubajo, Bruce, Maguire, Robertson; Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Snodgrass; Diam ; HernA?ndez
- Hull City have only ever beaten Manchester City once away from home , with the win coming in the FA Cup in 1930
- Manchester City have lost just one of their previous nine meetings against the Tigers in all competitions (5 wins and 3 draws)
- This is Hull City’s best-ever performance in the League Cup, having never gone past the fourth round of the competition prior to this season
- Manchester City won the only previous meeting between the two sides in the Capital One Cup, winning 3-0 in the third round in 1963
- Hull City have already beaten two Premier League teams on their way to the quarter-finals — Swansea and Leicester City
Player to watch
The former Aston Villa captain’s Manchester City career is still in its infancy, but appears to be taking a while to get off the runway, with the England international struggling to make the starting XI on a regular basis — in part, due to persistent injury issues.
The quarter-final against Hull City could be the ideal platform for Delph to prove his worth to the side and give Manuel Pellegrini a selection dilemma for the more important Premier League and Champions League games the Citizens will play over the course of the season.
Manchester City 2 – 0 Hull City
Manuel Pellegrini will want his side to continue winning games and gathering momentum heading into the busy festive period of the season, and is thus unlikely to shuffle his pack too much for the game on Tuesday. Although Hull City have players that could cause City some problems in defence, the home side should be too strong for the visitors, and a comfortable home win is on the cards in this one.