City have made seven changes for the FA Cup third round tie with Port Vale.

Despite shuffling his pack, Pep Guardiola – as ever – pays the competition and opposition the respect they deserve by naming a very strong starting XI.

The only survivors from the New Year’s Day win over Everton are Claudio Bravo, Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden.

READ: Where can I watch City v Vale?

LIVE: City v Port Vale: Matchday Centre

Returning to the starting XI are David Silva, John Stones, Angelino, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Bernardo and Sergio Aguero.

Kevin De Bruyne and Ederson are rested, while Nicolas Otamendi is injured.

 

WATCH: City 2-1 Everton: Brief highlights

Possible formation and tactics

It looks as though City will play 4-3-3 against Vale this afternoon.

Harwood-Bellis and Stones will be the centre-back partnership for certain, but we will have to wait until kick-off to discover if Angelino or Zinchenko starts at left-back.

Cancelo will be our right-back, with Ilkay Gundogan likely to pin a midfield trio of David Silva and Phil Foden.

Either Angelino or Zinchenko should be on the left of the forward trio that is likely to have Bernardo on the right and Aguero will take on striking duties.

 

Focus on cup competitions intensifies for City?

With Liverpool’s current lead at the top of the Premier League sizeable, City will be particularly keen to add more silverware to the Etihad trophy cabinet.

The champions will never give up on their crown unless it becomes mathematically impossible, but attempting to retain a domestic cup double will remain a key focus.

City will also look to progress in the Champions League, meaning there are three major cups still up for grabs aside from the Premier League, which – as we know all too well – is never over until it’s over with this team.

Stats and facts

This is the first FA Cup meeting between the two sides since January 1991, when City won a fourth-round tie 2-1 at Vale Park with goals from Clive Allen and Niall Quinn.

Vale and City haven't met since October 1999 in the second tier - the sides met twice in the league that month, with City winning 2-1 twice.

Pep Guardiola has overseen four FA cup ties at the Etihad with City winning all four by an aggregate score of 21-2.

Vale haven't beaten a Premier League side in their past eight attempts in the FA Cup {three draws, five losses}, last winning in February 1996 in a fourth-round replay against Everton.

Of the 57 opponents City have faced at least 20 times in our history, their best win percentage has come against Port Vale with 18 wins in 23 games (78% success).

Vale have faced the FA Cup holders twice in their history - and eliminated them both times - Blackpool in 1953-54 and Everton in 1995-96. The Valiants are the only team to face the holders of the FA Cup more than once and eliminate them each time.