Man City vs. Birmingham City
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick off: 2:30PM
Manchester City will be looking to make it six straight victories in all competitions when they host Birmingham City in the third round of the FA Cup this afternoon.
Pep Guardiola’s side booked their spot in the EFL Cup final with a 2-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday night, while Birmingham will enter the contest off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.
Man City have had their fair share of issues this season, but Guardiola’s side appear to be finding form at the right time and will enter this match off the back of five straight wins in all competitions.
In the Premier League, the Citizens have won their last three against Southampton, Newcastle United and Chelsea to move into fifth position in the table, just four points off the summit with two games in hand on leaders Liverpool.
Man City have also impressively advanced to the EFL Cup final, recording a 4-1 victory at Arsenal in the quarter-finals before winning 2-0 against Man United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Guardiola’s side reached the semi-finals of last season’s FA Cup but suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to eventual winners Arsenal, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring a brace at Wembley.
The Citizens have won this competition on six previous occasions, the last of which was in 2019, while they have been victorious in 10 of their last 11 FA Cup fixtures.
Birmingham, meanwhile, have never won the FA Cup but have reached the final on two occasions, losing to West Bromwich Albion in 1931 and Man City in 1956.
The Blues have not actually faced the Citizens since September 2011, losing 2-0 in the League Cup, while they have not beaten the Manchester club since a 3-1 home success in March 2008.
Aitor Karanka’s side will not enter today’s contest in the best of form, losing five of their last six Championship matches to drop into 18th position in the table.
Birmingham have actually not scored a single goal in their last three games, losing their last two 4-0 to Derby County and 2-0 to Blackburn Rovers, meaning that the FA Cup could provide a welcome distraction.
The Blues overcame Blackburn and Coventry City in the early rounds of last season’s competition but lost to Premier League opposition in the shape of Leicester City in the fifth round.
Man City possible XI: Steffen, Walker, Harwood-Bellis, Stones, Mendy, Rodri, Gundogan, Foden, Mahrez, Aguero, Zinchenko.
Birmingham City possible XI: Prieto, Dean, Colin, Clarke-Salter, Friend, Clayton, Kieftenbeld, Toral, Bela, Hogan, Leko.