I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s match. League Cup fixtures are always a bit of fun (in my opinion) as they’re an opportunity for some of the younger players to stake a claim for a more permanent place in the squad. Games like these also give us an insight into whether the fringe players can adhere to the Pep Guardiola blueprint and play footballing something like what the first XI have managed in the last few weeks. The second Champions League qualifier against Bucharest saw quite a notable drop-off in terms of both the team’s play and its style, so this fixture should be a good test.
The big news to come from today’s press conference is that Yaya Touré will not be involved tomorrow, nor will he feature at all until either he or his resident gobshite of an agent Dimitri Seluk apologises. Touré had been tipped to make only his second appearance of the season against the Swans, but Seluk’s refusal to apologise seems to have put an end to that. In other news, Vincent Kompany is in line to make his first start of the season after taking a place on the bench against Bournemouth at the weekend. Tomorrow’s game should be the perfect low risk sort of a match to reintroduce our captain after such a lengthy lay-off.
Brahim Diaz, Tosin Adarabioyo, Pablo Maffeo, Aleix García and Angeliño are all travelling with the City squad for tomorrow's game.
— City Watch (@City_Watch) September 20, 2016
The other bit of team news is that Fernando is in the squad after recovering from the knock he picked-up at Old Trafford. Fabian Delph is ‘close’ to a return but ‘isn’t ready yet’, according to Guardiola. Delph has travelled with the squad down to South Wales, where they’ll stay for the next five days. David Silva is ‘ready’ again but will not be risked tomorrow night – he should be involved at the weekend though.
Most interesting of all will be to see how many of the youngsters Pep trusts from the start. My guess is that Adarabioyo, Angelino, Maffeo and Garcia will all start. Nolito’s suspension means that Leroy Sané is an absolute certainty to start, with Pep bigging-up the young German’s potential in the build-up to this game. Kelechi should continue in the lone striker role whilst Navas is the obvious choice to play on the right wing.
In all honesty, it’s almost impossible to predict the team for this one, but here’s my best guess:
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