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Carabao Cup: The stage for City's young stars to shine

Carabao Cup: The stage for City's young stars to shine
City launch our defence of the Carabao Cup at home to Wycombe Wanderers tonight looking set to further extend our proud record of affording youth a chance in the competition.

Manager Pep Guardiola disclosed in the aftermath of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton that he would utilise our League Cup third round tie with the Chairboys as an opportunity to blood some of our talented youngsters.

The likes of Cole Palmer, Romeo Lavia, Luke Mbete and Josh Wilson-Esbrand all featured on the bench against the Saints at the weekend.

And with a number of senior players afflicted by injury – and crucial forthcoming Premier League trips to Chelsea and Liverpool sandwiched by a pivotal Champions League assignment away at Paris Saint-Germain - Guardiola confirmed Tuesday’s third round tie would be an opportunity for some of our exciting crop of emerging talent ahead of our match-up with the League One side.

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“We are going to play a few young players,” the boss declared.

“Some players might rest for the games we have coming up ahead of us and yeah a few players from the Academy are going to play (against Wycombe).

“We will see after Sunday to make a good selection. It's a good opportunity for the Academy - that’s why they are there.”

WATCH: Pep: Our only focus now is Wycombe

For City, that willingness to afford youth a chance to shine has become a hallmark of our storied League Cup record under Guardiola.

Ever since taking charge at the Etihad in the summer of 2016, the Catalan has regularly blooded promising young talent in the competition to great effect.

City, of course, set out against Wycombe seeking what would be a historic fifth consecutive Carabao Cup triumph under Guardiola.

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And though there is a long, long way to go yet, should City go on to record another Wembley triumph it would also represent our ninth League Cup win overall which would be another notable English record.

It has been a remarkable record of both quality and consistency in the competition.

And under Guardiola, the League Cup has, along the way, also become the ideal staging ground to afford invaluable first team opportunities for a host of exciting emerging talent.

Phil Foden notably scored his first senior goal for the Club in our 3-0 third round win away at Oxford United back in 2018.

WATCH: Carabao Cup: Our defence starts here!

Meanwhile the likes of Cole Palmer, Tommy Doyle, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Claudio Gomes, to name but a few, have all made impressive Club debuts in the competition.

Last season’s third round opener at home to Bournemouth also saw Guardiola hand a senior bow to teenage striker Liam Delap who memorably marked the occasion by rifling home a stunning goal to help us record a 2-1 triumph.

In total, Pep has to date utilised 45 players in the Carabao Cup across his five years at the City helm.

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And since we were last knocked out of the competition – a staggering 1,791 days ago during a 1-0 fourth round defeat at Manchester United in October, 2016 – City have gone on to win 22 out of 23 games.

The only loss was a 1-0 semi-final, second leg setback at home to United in 2020 after we had secured a 3-1 first leg advantage which saw us go through 3-2 on aggregate.

Now the advent of the 2021/22 League Cup campaign looks poised to provide another exciting senior showcase for some of the Club’s promising teenage talent.

WATCH: Wembley wonders: Celebrating City's eight League Cup triumphs

RESULTS SINCE LAST KO IN 2016:

2017-18

Third Round: West Brom 1-2 City

Fourth Round: City 0-0 Wolves (won 4-1 on pens)

Quarter-final: Leicester 1-1 City (won 3-4 on pens)

Semi-final first leg: City 2-1 Bristol City

Semi-final second leg: Bristol City 2-3 City

Final: Arsenal 0-3 City

2018-19

Third Round: Oxford 0-3 City

Fourth Round: City 2-0 Fulham

Quarter-final: Leicester 1-1 City (won 1-3 on pens)

Semi-final first leg: City 9-0 Burton Albion

Semi-final second leg: Burton Albion 0-1 City

Final: Chelsea 0-0 City (won 3-4 on pens)

2019-20

Third Round: Preston 0-3 City

Fourth Round: City 3-1 Southampton

Fifth Round: Oxford 1-3 City

Semi-final first leg: Man United 1-3 City

Semi-final second leg: City 0-1 United

Final: City 2-1 Aston Villa

2020-21

Third Round: City 2-1 Bournemouth

Fourth Round: Burnley 0-3 City

Fifth Round: Arsenal 1-4 City

Semi-final: Man United 0-2 City

Final: City 1-0 Tottenham

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