Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are set to face Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City in the fifth round of the 2022/23 FA Cup.
There are no players who will definitely miss out on City’s game at Ashton Gate – there are, however, a number of doubts. They are John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte.
De Bruyne is still feeling the effects of the unidentified illness that kept him out of the RB Leipzig and Bournemouth games last week. He is ‘a little better’ according to Guardiola, but will probably not play against Bristol City. De Bruyne was on the bench for City’s last game against Bournemouth, but was not brought on at any point.
Laporte is suffering from an illness, like De Bruyne. Meanwhile, John Stones has been out for a few weeks with a hamstring issue – he’s closing in on a return, but the game on Tuesday evening may come too soon for the former Everton man.
On the game against Bristol City, Guardiola said: “My experience in this country, when you go away in the FA Cup against a Championship team is always tough. At home it would be different but away is always tough.
“Last 12 games, no defeats. This means they are there. My scouts said they are a good team, a manager with experience and did well at Leicester City. It’s a final, FA Cup is an important competition. A serious team will play tomorrow.”
While Guardiola implied he will put out a strong team tomorrow, it’s likely he’ll also rest a few key players. For example, it would be a surprise to see Erling Haaland play against the Robins, given City’s congested fixture list.