The Carabao Cup quarter-finals kick-off this week and Manchester City will travel south to face League One side Oxford United.
Karl Robinson’s side have been going well in the third-tier this season and have already knocked Premier League club West Ham out of this year’s competition. It will be a big ask for the Yellows to take another top-flight scalp but there is always hope.
City are likely to make several changes for the match, a trait that has become almost commonplace in the country’s second-biggest domestic cup competition.
Only Liverpool have won the League Cup more times than City, who have lifted the trophy four times in the last six years, but in Oxford, they face a side with history in this competition. The U’s beat QPR 3-0 in the 1986 final to bring home their first-ever major trophy.
Check out our preview, predictions and possible XIs ahead of the action on Wednesday…
When is Oxford Utd vs Man City and where can I watch live?
Competition: Carabao Cup
Venue: The Kassam Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Kick-off: 7:45 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Football
Last five meetings: Oxford Utd vs Man City
25 Sep 2018: Oxford 0-3 Man City (EFL Cup)
07 Mar 1998: Man City 0-2 Oxford (League Division 1)
01 Nov 1997: Oxford United 0-0 Man City (League Division 1)
02 Feb 1997: Oxford 1-4 Man City (League Division 1)
13 Nov 1996: Man City 2-3 Oxford (League Division 1)
Aggregate Score: Oxford Utd (LWDLW) 6-9 Man City (WLDWL)
Ones to watch
Home team: Robert Dickie
The Oxford United defender has been terrific this season for the Yellows. Almost ever-present in the heart of the club’s backline, Dickie has shown an ability to read the game that has made him a defensive wall for the League One outfit.
His ability on the ball has also been impressive, with the 23-year-old able to pick out a pass and showing plenty of composure when asked to play out from the back.
He will be in for a tough test on Wednesday night but if he continues to produce the kind of displays that Oxford fans have grown accustomed to, it could be a good night for the Yellows.
Key stat: Rob Dickie has been dribbled past just once in 1,576 minutes of football in League One this season.
Man City: Riyad Mahrez
Despite not playing every week in the Premier League, City have a wonderful player in Riyad Mahrez and he will be determined to take his chance when it arrives.
The Algerian has been excellent whenever he gets on the pitch this season, scoring five times in 20 appearances and has shown what an impact he can make when trusted. The 2019/20 campaign has been frustrating for the former Leicester City star but he will likely get the chance to show what he can do on Wednesday.
Key stat: Riyad Mahrez has attempted 3.8 dribbles per 90 minutes for City in the Premier League this season, only Raheem Sterling has attempted more (4.3).
Oxford will definitely be without midfielder Anthony Forde who suffered several broken ribs in the draw with Shrewsbury earlier this month.
James Henry is touch-and-go while both Cameron Brannagan and Shandon Baptiste returned in the defeat at Milton Keynes at the weekend.
George Thorne remains out as does goalkeeper Simon Eastwood. Jamie Hanson could be available again after a thigh injury but Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn will not be back to face City on Wednesday.
Predicted XI: Archer; Cadden, Dickie, Mousinho, Ruffels; Brannagan, Rodriguez; Hall, Sykes, Fosu; Taylor.
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Man City are set to be without John Stones who picked up a thigh injury in the Manchester derby. They will likely also rest several players meaning the likes of Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez could see some action.
Oleksandr Zinchenko made a five-minute cameo against Arsenal at the weekend and could see more minutes, while Angelino could be called into action as Pep Guardiola rotates his squad.
Predicted XI: Bravo; Cancelo, Rodri, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Gundogan, B Silva, Foden; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Jesus.
Man City are coming into this one as heavy favourites and for good reason. They have a squad full of depth and talent but Oxford’s hope could be the fact that City are fighting on four fronts.
Much will depend on the squad Guardiola chooses to field on Wednesday but even so, they have more than enough depth to cope with the rigours of the Carabao Cup.
Oxford will need to take their chances when they come, and can certainly take confidence from the way they demolished West Ham, but City are a different kettle of fish and should progress fairly easily.
Scoreline prediction: Oxford Utd 1-4 Man City