After a disappointing Champions League defeat to Lyon, Manchester City will be looking to bounce back when they visit Cardiff City on Saturday.
22 September 2018
Game week 6
Kick-off: 16h00 (GMT+2), 22h00 HKT
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: M. Oliver
Assistant referees: S. Burt, S. Bennett
Fourth official: D. England
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Cardiff City 50 9 20 21
Manchester City 50 21 20 9
Cardiff City 0-2 Manchester City (28/01/2018) FA Cup
Manchester City goalscorers: K. de Bruyne (8′), R. Sterling (37′)
Players to watch:
Leroy Sane’s second-half introduction changed the complexion of City’s game against Lyon, and it will be interesting to see whether or not the German, who has only started one Premier League game so far this season, is given the nod by Pep Guardiola.
Sergio Aguero also impressed off the bench against Lyon, but hasn’t found the back of the net since a hat-trick against Huddersfield Town just over a month ago. He will be eager to rediscover his finishing touch.
Sol Bamba put in an impressive shift in Cardiff’s 4-1 defeat to Chelsea, making several interventions at the back and chipping in at the other end. However, he gave away a needless penalty for his foul on Willian. He will be looking to repeat his performance in that game minus the costly error.
Team form and manager quotes:
Cardiff are hovering above the relegation zone early on, with two points from their opening five fixtures. After the joy of promotion last season, the mood has changed somewhat at the Cardiff City Stadium, with manager Neil Warnock recently saying: “I can’t keep saying: ‘I want to enjoy it,’ because I’ve been told to stop saying that.”
Looking ahead to Manchester City, Warnock has once again openly admitted his admiration for playmaker David Silva and urged his side to put in a good shift to stop him.
“We want to put a performance in really. We’re Premier League players. I’ve got some good Premier League players, so they need to show how much they’ve learned and what they can do,” he told Cardiff City TV. “Because David Silva will rip anyone to pieces, let alone Cardiff.”
Manchester City have picked up 13 points from their opening five Premier League games, leaving them two points off early pace-setters Chelsea and Liverpool as they look to defend their title.
Their 2-1 midweek defeat to Lyon was a major setback, but they will have Guardiola back on the bench come Saturday after he missed the Champions League clash through suspension.
“We didn’t feel the flow around the team,” said his assistant and stand-in manager Mikel Arteta after the defeat. “We missed the right pass and didn’t find consistency. We felt under threat every time we lost the ball, that can bring the confidence lower.”
MATCH PREVIEW: The Gaffer looks ahead to #CARMCI! 🎥
— Cardiff City TV (@CardiffCityTV) September 20, 2018
Manchester City are sweating on the fitness of in-form left-back Benjamin Mendy, who missed the matches against Fulham and Lyon with a knee injury. However, another full-back, Danilo, is close to a return.
Guardiola is unlikely to rush the pair into action, and will also be without Kevin de Bruyne and Claudio Bravo, who are out with long-term injuries.
Meanwhile, the injured Josh Murphy and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing are set to miss out for Cardiff, with Aron Gunnarsson doubtful, but close to a return for Warnock’s side.