Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough sounds pessimistic of his team’s chances of overcoming Manchester City over two legs in the Carabao Cup semi-final – and is it any surprise?
City were given the kindest draw possible in last night’s semi-final draw, with the overachieving Burton, who have knocked out Burnley, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough en route to this stage, set to face City.
The winner of City vs. Burton will go on to face either Chelsea or Spurs at Wembley to contest a trophy City are the current holders of.
Clough, who played for City from 1996 until 1998 after joining from Liverpool for £1.5 million, sounded quite terrified of City, who the third tier side have to play for not just 90 minutes, but 180 minutes.
“They are one of the best teams in Europe at the moment,” Clough said.
“What they have done over the last year or so in England is quite frightening for a team in League One. With the strength of their squad and football club, the one thing Pep Guardiola might be pleased with is that he won’t have to risk too many players.
“I don’t think it makes too much difference being away in the first leg. I think whatever the score in the first leg, people will want to watch Manchester City at the Pirelli Stadium.
“Financial considerations for us at this stage are the main thing, but it’s also something for everyone to look forward to.
“It will be daunting, though, as Manchester City are so capable. We have seen their under-23 players in the Checkatrade Trophy and they can be frightening, which shows the strength they have got. There are three out of the top four in the Premier League left in the competition, and us – it’s incredible.”
Burton’s cup run is in contrast to their league form which sees them 15th in League One, while City are 2nd in the Premier League, showing the huge gulf between the two sides heading into January’s two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final.