Less familiar faces in Man City training hint at team selection for Burton game

Manchester City take on Burton Albion next in a game that is a mere formality, being the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi final with the Blues already 9-0 up from the first leg.

City were ruthless against their League One opponents in the first game, and are heading to Wembley to take on Tottenham or Chelsea.

So how will Pep Guardiola approach the fixture? Complicating matters is a Checkatrade Trophy game 24 hours before against Sunderland, which means many of the younger players will be in action there and not available to Guardiola.

One young player who is certainly with the first team is Eric Garcia, who was pictured training with the squad on Monday.

Garcia, who recently turned 18, played the full 90 minutes in City’s last two Carabao Cup games, against Leicester in the quarter finals and Burton in the semi final first leg.

Two other centre-backs who trained today were Eliaquim Mangala and Philippe Sandler, the latter of whom made his City debut in the 7-0 drubbing of Rotherham in the FA Cup earlier this month.

Mangala has not played a competitive game of football since February when he sustained a serious injury while on loan at Everton, and this could be his chance to finally appear again – possibly for the last time in a City shirt with his contract up in June.

Several other youngsters may have also been present but not pictured, with 18-year-old midfielder Taylor Richards spotted in the background of one photo. UPDATE: The Daily Mail confirms Luke Bolton and Ian Carlo Poveda also trained with the first-team on Monday.

Also at training today was long-injured goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who returned to the CFA – but only to observe and catch up with his teammates with his comeback still a way off.

The inclusion of Mangala, Garcia and Sandler could point to all three featuring against Burton, potentially with Garcia and Mangala as centre-backs and Sandler in a holding midfield role like he played against Rotherham when he replaced Kevin De Bruyne.

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