Manchester City will face League Two Swindon Town away from home on Friday evening in an FA Cup tie.
The match, which kicks off at 8pm, will see City try and reach the fourth round of the competition - a feat they have achieved in their last nine attempts. Pep Guardiola has guided his side to one FA Cup victory during his tenure at the club, winning the prestigious trophy in 2019 - their sixth overall.
The Sky Blues’ league form coming into the competition is strong, having won 17 of their 21 games so far, including a 2-1 victory against Arsenal on Saturday.
As for Swindon, they host the Premier League champions at the stage of the competition following their 2-1 second round win over Walsall in December. Goals from Tyreece Simpson and Kaine Hayden secured their progression.
The Robins‘ league form has been hit-and-miss coming into this fixture, with only two wins in their last five. Their most recent victory was a 5-2 drubbing of Northampton Town on Saturday.
The sides head into the game with City top of the Premier League, while Swindon sit fifth in the fourth-tier - that’s 71 places in the football pyramid separating the pair.
Overall the Manunian club has the better record when coming face to face in all competitions. Of their 22 meetings, City have won 14 of them, while the Robins have been victorious five times and honours have been even on three occasions.
The two teams’ previous meeting came in the third round of the FA Cup in January 2002 and ended in a 2-0 win for the Sky Blues. Paulo Wanchope and Kevin Horlock goals that day were enough for City to progress to the next stage.
What’s the latest team news?
City’s victory against Arsenal saw the return to the starting XI for Rodri, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling - the trio replacing Fernandinho, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.
Rotation is expected from Guardiola given the gap in the pyramid between the Sky Blues and Swindon, with this game a perfect opportunity for the Spaniard to rest key players for league games and utilise their youth.
Guardiola’s fluidity in his style of play allows for either of his favoured 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation to be used against the Robins. The former, which was used against Arsenal, saw a five-man midfield made up of Rodri and Bernardo Silva as a pairing, while Riyad Mahrez and Sterling occupied each wing, and De Bruyne sat as a number 10.
One man definitely unavailable to City is Mahrez, who will represent Algeria at the African Cup of Nations which begins on 9 January.
The hosts have made several changes to their squad before Friday’s fixture, with the Robins signing Jake O’Brien on loan from Crystal Palace and Emmanuel Idem on a free transfer in recent days, while Alex Gilbert has returned to Brentford following a recall.
Idem, who plays as a goalkeeper, signed for Swindon on Monday, and adds competition between the sticks with Lewis Ward and Jojo Wollacott. The latter has joined up with Ghana for their AFCON campaign.
Ben Garner has switched between a four-man and three-man defence this season, with the latter being used against Northampton on Saturday.
Swindon (3-1-4-2): Ward; Hunt, Odimayo, Iandolo; Reed; Hayden, Payne, Lyden, Williams; McKirdy, Simpson.
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Steffen; Walker, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko; Rodri, Gundogan; Palmer, De Bruyne, Foden; Grealish.
Is the match on TV?
The match will be shown live in the UK on ITV 1, with pre-match coverage starting at 7.30pm. Alternatively, viewers can stream the game live on the ITV Hub app.
How can I watch highlights?
The ITV Hub app is the best place to view the main moments from the game, and both City and Newcastle’s websites will have the highlights after the game ends.
And follow Manchester World for live match coverage and player ratings on the whistle.