This is the year when City could win it all. The Premier League looks accounted for, the Champions League odds look excellent, the FA Cup is still on the table and the EFL Cup looks well within reach.
Two games will be against the giant slayer – Bristol City. Why giant slayer? Because they are the only non-premier League team left in the competition. They have joined a very select group as City is joined by Arsenal and Chelsea in the EFL final four.
Despite beating Manchester United to move on to the EFL semi-finals, Bristol still is the lesser threat of the teams remaining in the competition.
Seeing City play against Burnley should encourage fans to believe Guardiola is not backing down regardless of the trophy and it`s importance.
The Spanish boss will not have to compromise over the way the starting line-up looks like as the lot is almost complete. Here is what injuries City must deal with ahead of the Bristol clash:
• Gabriel Jesus – Medial Collateral Ligament Injury – since the last update, Guardiola’s medical staff has provided a return date. The Brazilian is expected to return in the middle of February – this is if all goes as expected. It would be better not to stress the striker as there are still many games in this season so there’s no reason to rush him in returning to the pitch. If Jesus is fit to play against Arsenal, Chelsea and Basel in late February, early March, his situation is not that grim. Fans don’t need to worry also because Aguero is in amazing form and will surely deliver if needed. They offer their full support as seen in the tweets below:
You are the future of Jogo bonito.
The next Nascimento for Selecao.
— Chidi03 (@Chaidman) January 7, 2018
So glad you are Okay, you need to keep benching Sergio 😂
— Jake Owen (@JakeOwe37569162) January 5, 2018
get well soon!! we need u!
— mais (@memeuIuos) January 3, 2018
• Vincent Kompany – Calf Strain – out since December, Kompany was expected to return against Burnley. Apparently his return date was pushed to the middle of February so we can possibly expect him on the pitch against Newcastle.
• Benjamin Mendy – Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – still out until April. No news on his recovery and unfortunately, no news if he will play this season. May be featured in the 2 Premier League games in May.
• Phil Foden – Ankle Problem – no return date.
Bristol City will have an almost complete lot with 3 players out with injury. They have been out since October or November 2017 so the team has been dealing with their absences for a while now. It’s fair to say Lee Johnson (Bristol’s manager) has all his key players available.
Even with the massive upset Bristol pulled off against United, City still go in as favorites. Guardiola’s guys are impeccable this season and it is unlikely they will stumble when facing a non-Premier League team especially over two legs.