Holders Manchester City begin their defence of the FA Cup this weekend with a seemingly easy game against League Two side Port Vale.
The visitors are unbeaten in five league matches, but it’s difficult to see them avoiding a beating against a City side desperate for more silverware.
Pep Guardiola could select a relatively strong side, so Port Vale will have to be well organised if they are to even come close to earning a replay.
Read on for our preview, predictions, key men, team news and more.
When is Man City vs Port Vale and where can I watch live?
Competition: FA Cup
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: Saturday, 04 January 2020
Kick-off: 5.31 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Man City vs Port Vale
30 October 1999: Port Vale 1-2 Man City (Division 1)
02 October 1999: Man City 2-1 Port Vale (Division 1)
14 March 1998: Port Vale 2-1 Man City (Division 1)
04 November 1997: Man City 2-3 Port Vale (Division 1)
26 December 1996: Man City 0-1 Port Vale (Division 1)
Aggregate Score: Man City (WWLLL) 7-8 Port Vale (LLWWW)
Ones to watch
Man City: Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero has been gradually re-introduced since returning from his latest injury lay-off. The Argentine didn’t come off the bench at all as Gabriel Jesus got the job done against Everton on Wednesday, so Aguero is likely to start here to build some momentum going into a crucial phase of the season. If he gets enough service, he could score multiple goals.
Key stat: Aguero has averaged a goal every 85 minutes across all competitions this season.
Port Vale: Jake Taylor
Jake Taylor is Port Vale’s top scorer so far this season and will look to provide a goal threat from midfield. The 21-year-old, who is on loan from Nottingham Forest, has the chance to prove he is good enough to step up a couple of divisions and play regularly in the Championship.
Key stat: No Port Vale player has scored more goals than Taylor this season (6).
Manchester City will be without long-term absentees Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte. Aguero is likely to come in for Jesus up front as City go strong after resting some of their best players against Everton.
Predicted XI: Bravo; Walker, Fernandinho, Garcia, Angelino; Gundogan, Foden, D Silva; B Silva, Aguero, Sterling.
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Emmanuel Oyeleke and Adam Crookes are long-term absentees for the visitors. Shaun Brisley and Tom Conlon returned to the bench against Macclesfield and could play a part.
Predicted XI: Brown; Gibbons, Legge, Smith, Montano; Taylor, Joyce, Burgess; Amoo, Bennett, Worrall.
Port Vale are unbeaten in five league games, but being solid in League Two means little when you’re set to come up against one of the best sides in the world. Manchester City should walk this one.