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Man City v Huddersfield: Talking Points

BATTLE: Fernando tussles with the Terriers' Dean Whitehead.

BATTLE: Fernando tussles with the Terriers' Dean Whitehead.

Manchester City face Huddersfield on Wednesday in an FA Cup fifth-round replay. Club journalists David Clayton and Rob Pollard have taken a look at some of the pre-match talking points.


Will Pep Guardiola ring the changes once more?

He made seven for the game at the John Smith's Stadium but City produced a somewhat underwhelming display and missed a good opportunity to progress to the quarter-finals at the first time of asking. 

With the likes of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne all in such fine form, too many alterations to the lineup could halt the team's momentum. 

The recent signs suggest City are finding form at just the right time. Guardiola must decide whether preserving his big-name players for the upcoming fixtures supersedes naming his strongest side for a knock-out game. 


2Potential fixture pile-up?

With the games already coming thick and fast, if City progress past Huddersfield, the Premier League game against Stoke will switch to midweek with the original date replaced by an away trip to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

With an outstanding league game against Manchester United still to be rescheduled, progress at the Riverside would also mean the clash with West Brom on 22 April would also need to be moved so the FA Cup semi-final could be accommodated.

Of course, there’s also the possibility of two Champions League quarter-final legs in April which could equate to eight games that month.

Lots of ifs and buts, but… if all the above comes to fruition, expect Pep to rotate his squad on a regular basis!


3Wholesale changes for Terriers?

David Wagner made numerous changes when City visited the John Smith’s Stadium from the majority of the side that had raced up the Championship table over the past few months.

Some of his players were cup-tied – Aaron Mooy being a prime example – but most of his regulars were rested.

From the side that started against City in the FA Cup, Wagner made NINE changes to his starting XI that took on Reading three days later. That the Terriers held the Blues 0-0 with many of their star names missing is testament to the strength in depth Wagner has.

But with a crucial home game against Newcastle United coming up this weekend, expect a similar starting XI to the one that faced the Blues at the John Smith’s Stadium which could mean many changes.


4City in fine form

Since the turn of the year, City have only lost once.

Their record in 2017 reads: Played 10, won seven, drawn two lost one. It's a run that has seen them make progress in three competitions and after a shaky period before Christmas that saw the team questioned by sections of the media, it now feels like the Blues have plenty to look forward to between now and the end of the season. 


5Up for the Cup

Make no mistake about it: City desperately want to go all the way in the FA Cup.

City are just two win from a semi-final place at Wembley. Standing in their way are Huddersfield and Middlesbrough – two games that feel winnable for a squad of City’s quality.

It’s a competition that City will feel they can win. 

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