Man City v Chelsea: the seven players likely to miss as teams predicted for EFL Cup tie

The league cup tie will be the second last fixture for Graham Potter’s side before the domestic football goes on hiatus for the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.

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The Etihad Stadium is set to host a blockbuster tie in the early stages of the EFL Cup on Wednesday as Manchester City host Chelsea. It will be the penultimate fixture for both clubs before domestic football goes on hiatus for the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar and returns on Boxing Day.

With multiple Premier League ties taking place in the third round there are set to be a number of big names dropping out which could blow the field wide open. As is ever the case with cup competitions, particularly the EFL Cup, the bigger teams will be expected to rotate their squads heavily compared to how they might usually line up for a Premier League or European fixture.

Manchester City team news and predicted starting XI

Star striker Erling Haaland was not deemed fit enough to start last weekend’s 2-1 Premier League win over Fulham but managed to come off the bench to score the winning goal from the penalty spot. The Norwegian had been out since picking up a knock against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on October 25. Whether or not Pep Guardiola opts to start their top scorer in the cup as he makes his way back to fitness remains to be seen but it seems more likely that understudy Julian Alvarez will continue in the first XI, especially after getting on the scoresheet himself against Fulham.

As is often the case in cup competitions, first choice keeper Ederson is likely to drop out meaning Stefan Ortega will likely come in for his third appearance of the season. Also coming in for a rare start could be some of the Citizens brightest young talents with Cole Palmer likely to get the nod. Also, with Joao Cancelo suspended and Kyle Walker injured, it could open up a chance for young full-back Rico Lewis to impress.

Here is our predicted starting XI for Manchester City: Ortega; Lewis, Dias, Laporte, Gomez; Palmer, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden and Alvarez.

Chelsea team news and predicted Starting XI

Graham Potter will still be without Reece James, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell while Kepa Arrizabalaga, also absent, will miss out on his regular cup game time. The Spaniard’s absence means Edouard Mendy is likely to retain his place between the sticks. In terms of rotation there could be chances for the likes of Armando Broja, Conor Gallagher and Hakim Ziyech to impress from the start having been more accustomed to appearing from the bench this season.

Meanwhile, Carney Chukwuemeka could be in line to return although it remains to be seen if it is still too early as the summer arrival continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Graham Potter also has no suspensions to contend with ahead of the match.

Here is our predicted starting XI for Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Alonso, Gallagher, Kovacic, Zakaria, Ziyech, Pulisic and Broja.