Football League World
·25 September 2023
Football League World
·25 September 2023
Domestic cup competitions often facilitate the unique opportunity for teams from polarising ends of the Football League pyramid to face off.
Of course, the two sides - both among the most financially-steamrolled on the globe owing to Saudi ownership - are enlisted in the Premier League’s heavyweight cohort.
As we all know, Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side have set the standard for everyone else to follow over the last five years, but the hosts may just fancy their chances when Erling Haaland and co roll into town.
The Magpies will no doubt have a lease of momentum and confidence in their stride after running riot at Sheffield United in an eventual 8-0 trashing, promptly arriving as the biggest away victory in their history.
And, after securing Champions League football for the first time in 20 years last term, Newcastle have embarked upon a fair start to proceedings this time around.
Losses at the hands of Brighton and Hove Albion, Liverpool and their soon-to-be-opponents at the Etihad Stadium have prevented them from being further up the table, but they’ve levelled out those defeats with additional wins against Brentford and Aston Villa.
As things stand, they sit eighth in the table after six games, though with the likes of Callum Wilson and Anthony Gordon now truly embracing rich streaks of form, there’s a palpable feeling that there’s plenty more to come from Eddie Howe’s men in the coming weeks and months.
There’s not much more to come from Man City, mind, who’ve sustained their vein of unadulterated dominance at the peak of the top-flight.
Five of the last six Premier League titles have headed to the blue side of Manchester and there appears little chance of the norm changing this season, with City reigning victorious in all of their opening six encounters.
Having only leaked three goals in that time, the likes of Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak alongside aforementioned duo Gordon and Wilson will all have to be at the peak of their powers if they’re to get any change out of a side that are just as resolute defensively as they are clinical in the final third.
But, in this competition at least, last season’s treble-winners now have a point to prove.
They asserted their authority and sheer supremacy on the tournament by winning it consecutively four times running between 2017/18 and 2020/21, but have not tasted triumph for over two years now with rivals Liverpool and Manchester United since coming out on top.
Speaking of the Red Devils, they’ll have surely whetted Newcastle’s appetite after denying them their first piece of major silverware since 1955 in the previous campaigns cup final.
That said, City are typically the overarching favourites nonetheless and will take some trumping from any side in any competition this term.
As ever, we’ll know more on this front when the two sets of managers undertake their media duties in the build-up to this tie.
However, the hosts already have a few known absentees at the time of writing - and it’ll be interesting to see if any of them end up making the cut against City.
In all fairness, Howe won’t be sweating too much over the fitness of squad players Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth as they continue their respective recoveries, although the absence of Joelinton and Joe Willock has tested their resolve somewhat more considerably.
Brazilian international Joelinton is expected to be on the sidelines for a few weeks after sustaining a knee injury this month, while Willock is yet to make his bow in the current campaign owing to a hamstring issue picked up all the way back in May, so don’t pin your hopes on either featuring.
Similarly, City aren’t heading up to Tyneside with a clean bill of health either.
In what’ll surely prove advantageous from a Newcastle perspective - and undoubtedly detrimental as far as City are concerned - star playmaker Kevin De Bruyne remains out with a hamstring injury that looks set to keep him off the pitch until December.
In addition, Bernardo Silva seems another high-profile doubt alongside John Stones, who’s now missed his side’s last seven matches.
Guardiola himself has given a fair insight towards the potential make-up of his side on Wednesday evening, explaining: "Some players who have had a lot of minutes are not going to play against Newcastle United.
"The Carabao Cup is great for all the guys who don’t play regularly, they can play some minutes and that is perfect.
"But for the other players, I am not going to waste one per cent of energy for Carabao Cup.
“The likes of Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, playing 90 minutes for us, 90 for the national team, they are exhausted already."
Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic and Zack Steffen look unlikely to be lacing their boots for this one too.
Thankfully for any supporters unable to make it to the affair in person, Sky Sports Main Event have you covered.
It’s one of two EFL Cup third-round matches being broadcasted, with the other being Man United versus Crystal Palace.
Unfortunately for Magpies fans yet to purchase a ticket, there are none available through the club’s website.
Due to an increased demand as of late, Newcastle now operate with a strict ballot system and it appears as though all tickets in the home end have now sold out.
City have also sold out their section of the stadium, with the club set to bring the entirety of the 4,885 allocation that they were given.
The match will commence at 20:00 BST on Wednesday, September 27.