Men’s Team

Harwood-Bellis starts as City make nine changes

Harwood-Bellis starts as City make nine changes
Taylor Harwood-Bellis makes his senior debut for City as Pep Guardiola rings the changes for our trip to Deepdale.

The 17-year-old Stockport-born defender is joined by 18-year-old Eric Garcia in central defence, with Angelino at left-back and Joao Cancelo also making his full debut for the Blues.

 


                        Harwood-Bellis starts as City make nine changes

 

Formation and team notes:

Claudio Bravo returns in goal for the first time since his Community Shield heroics against Liverpool, while Phil Foden makes his first start of the campaign after recovering from a stomach bug.

David Silva skippers the team and will support the attack with Foden, while Ilkay Gundogan is likely to assume the anchor role.

 


                        TOP GUN: Ilkay returns
TOP GUN: Ilkay returns

 

Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva forge a powerful-looking front trio.

Adrian Bernabe and Alpha Diounkou are two more youngsters on an otherwise experienced bench that also includes Scott Carson.

Chance for youngsters to shine

With three teenagers starting and two more named as sub, Pep Guardiola will be watching his young charges closely this evening.

The Catalan has a nice blend of world class talent alongside the inexperienced defensive duo of Garcia and Harwood-Bellis, while Angelino makes his first start since January 2016.

It should be a fascinating encounter for the sell-out Deepdale crowd.

Stats and facts

City haven’t lost a Carabao Cup tie since October 2016 when Manchester United beat the Blues 1-0. Since then, City have won 12 ties and won the cup twice in succession – four of those game went to penalty shoot-outs (all won) and 27 goals were scored and just six conceded.

The Blues are aiming to become the first team since Liverpool to win the League Cup three times in succession – the only time it has happened before (1981-84). Liverpool have won the trophy eight times, with City next on six.

City and Preston have met 93 times before this evening, with City winning 41 matches, 18 games ending in a draw and the Lilywhites winning on 34 occasions.

In 59 years of League Cup football, this is the first time the teams have met in the competition.

The last meeting of any kind was in 2007, with City wining 3-1 at Deepdale in the FA Cup.

PNE come into this game with a 100% home record in the Championship this season and just one point off top spot.

 

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