Today’s game has special resonance for one City player in particular – former Leeds United star James Milner.
Milner began his career with the Whites as a raw 16-year-old and became a firm favourite with the Elland Road faithful before moving on to Newcastle and later Aston Villa.
A boyhood Leeds fan, despite leaving Leeds eight years ago, he’d never crossed paths with the team he supported as a boy – until today.
“It’s not the draw I would have chosen if I’m honest,” smiled James. “It’s true I’ve never played against Leeds before and I was hoping to get through my career without facing them so it’s going to be a bit strange on Sunday.
“From a City point of view, it’s a good draw because we are at home against a team from a lower league but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy game,” he said.
They beat Spurs in the last round, are a big club and they’ll bring amazing support with them so it’s going to be a difficult game
“If I play and score, I won’t be celebrating but I’m a professional and a City player now so I’ll be giving everything against them, but this will be the first time in my life that Leeds will be playing a game I don’t want them to win, so that will be odd, too.
“I’ve not come across Neil Warnock that much apart from when I’ve played against his teams but he’s a fiery manager who has a great record of getting teams promoted from the Championship and hopefully, if the new owners pump a bit of cash in, Leeds United can get back up to the Premier League where they belong.”
Despite his loyalties to his hometown club, once the whistle blows today, Milner will be trying to dump the Whites out of the FA Cup.
“Whatever my history and background with Leeds, I love playing for City and this is my club now, “ he added.
Once the game starts, I’m only thinking of winning this game and hopefully giving our fans another day out at Wembley in May
“I couldn’t be happier at this club and the City fans, as I’ve said before, have been fantastic with me from day one and made me feel at home.
“We are desperate to perform how we know we can particularly after last weekend’s defeat at Southampton.
“We won’t be getting ahead of ourselves. As I said, they are a decent team and we’re expecting a tough game. If we win, we’re just two more victories from another FA Cup final which is all the incentive we need.”