Man City v Wycombe: Which youngsters could play for the reigning League Cup champions & predicted line-up
We’re predicting that as many as five youth players could be involved on Tuesday night after a string of injuries at City.
The coach has warned that several members of his first-team squad are injured or unavailable, so there could be plenty of youngsters involved in the third-round tie.
We’ve taken a closer look at Guardiola’s reserves and who could start at the Etihad for the reigning League Cup champions.
Where do we start? The City manager confirmed on Saturday that John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan are all missing through injury.
“Rodri had some muscular problems - not big, but I don’t know how many days. The doctor could not tell me,” said Guardiola.
“We have John, Aymeric, Oleks, Rodri - I think Gundo - all of them injured. Ruben [Dias] played all of the minutes so far and Joao [Cancelo] played all of the minutes, too, so I don’t think they will be able to play in this game,” he added.
It’s likely that Ederson will also be rotated during the week, while Fernandinho and Jack Grealish may be given a game off for the visit of the League One outfit.
Which first-team stars could play?
It’s unlikely to be a team made up entirely of youngsters, and Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres are senior options for Guardiola, who usually likes to field a strong side in the cup competitions.
Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden are returning from respective injuries and could get some minutes on Tuesday as they continue their recoveries.
In nets, Zack Steffen may be back after a recent lay off due to Covid-19 and was in attendance for the weekend draw against Southampton. However, if he’s not available, Scott Carson will most likely play for the Blues.
Which youngsters could play?
Speaking on Saturday, Guardiola said: “I don’t have any alternative [but to play youngsters. We are going to play a few young players. “Some players might rest for the games we have coming up ahead of us and yeah a few players from the Academy are going to play.
“We will see after Sunday to make a good selection. It's a good opportunity for the Academy - that’s why they are there.”
We wrote about four up-and-coming stars earlier this month, in Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Samuel Edozie and Liam Delap and all of the quartet could be involved against the Chairboys.
With a young centre-back likely to step up to the senior side, the impressive Conrad Egan-Riley is most probably the player who will be given the opportunity. It’s a similar situation at left-back, which could be a toss up between Juan Larios, Oscar Tarensi and Josh Wilson-Esbrand.
Steffen; Walker, Egan-Riley, Ake, Larios; De Bruyne, Palmer, Foden; Edozie, Delap, Sterling.