City travel to Preston this evening as the defence of our Carabao Cup begins in difficult circumstances.

Alex Neil's side sit third in the Championship after a fine start to the season that has seen them take 16 points from their first eight games. 

Ahead of the game, we've taken a look at all the latest City headlines. 


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Stuart Brennan writes: "All change

"At this stage last season, Guardiola made ten changes at Oxford, only Nicolas Otamendi keeping his place in the team which had beaten Cardiff 5-0 away in the league a few days earlier.

"Fans always enjoy seeing young players get a chance, and as well as the centre backs, Ian Poveda and Adria Bernabe will be pushing for an opportunity.

"Braaf encounter

"Add to that exciting 17-year-old Dutch winger Jayden Braaf, who was outstanding for the under-19s in their 3-1 Uefa Youth League win at Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek.

"He set up all three goals with some brilliant wing play – and all under the watchful eye of football director Txiki Begiristain."

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Match Previews

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Leo Nieboer writes: "Under the leadership of manager Alex Neil, who joined the club in 2017, The Lilywhites have enjoyed an excellent start to the new campaign, winning five of their opening eight Championship games - a run which has taken them to third in the table - alongside winning ties against Hull City and Stoke City to set up this clash with another City at Deepdale.

"A deeply energetic, organised unit, Preston are yet to lose at home this season and their win at Birmingham last weekend was an example of a team which, although not blessed with swathes of talent, possesses an inherent steeliness emblematic of so many Championship sides.

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"While you would have to go all the way back to 2001 for when the two sides last met, Preston can take heart from recent cup performances against Manchester United and Arsenal in 2015 and 2017 respectively, taking the lead in both of those games and sending shockwaves across the footballing world amid the possibility of an upset, only to lose each game late on as defenders started to tire."

Team News

Preston North End official site: Team News: Manchester City Home

"Manager Alex Neil is not expecting to have any selection issues ahead of the visit of Manchester City to Deepdale.

"Billy Bodin missed the weekend’s trip to St Andrew’s with a slight calf problem, but this is not serious and he is expected to be fit to return quickly.

"There were no further problems from the victory over the Blues, that saw North End move into the top three in the Championship, meaning just long-term casualty Louis Moult and club captain Tom Clarke – who is nearing a return to training – are absent from the squad.

"The real dilemma for the manager will be what he does with his team. The first two rounds saw 11 and ten changes respectively and everyone who is available will be chomping at the bit to be involved, but only 18 can be."

What the players say

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 Fernandinho says: “Both our centre-backs are injured, so they find that I can play there. I’m here to help so that's fine.

“As for the future, we will see what happens. It's better to think about now.

“Sometimes experience can help, even if you don't play - talking to the players, helping to fix some things.

“This is the best way to be in the team, helping wherever you can.”

That's all for this morning's Media Watch - but stay with us here on as we bring you full coverage of tonight's game. 

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