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Cheltenham Town vs Manchester City at Jonny-Rocks Stadium

23rd January 2021 5:30 PM
Jonny-Rocks Stadium Referee : Stuart Attwell
23rd January 2021 5:30 PM (GMT)
  • 0 Cheltenham Town

  • 0 Manchester City


Commentary By John Edwards


Cheltenham team πŸ”΄πŸ“‹

There's Mancunian spirit in the Cheltenham line-up in the form of defender Charlie Raglan, who hails from Wythenshawe, whilst Finn Azaz and Josh Griffiths are both on loan from West Brom.

XI: Griffiths, Raglan, Tozer (C), Boyle, Blair, Freestone, Thomas, Clements, Azaz, Lloyd, May.

SUBS: Flinders, Harris, Long, Bowry, Addai, Ebanks, Williams.


Live now ☝️

Paul Dickov and Nedum Onuoha are today's We're Not Really Here guests and it is live now!

Tune in at the top of the page. 


Team news πŸ”΅πŸ“‹

City make 10 changes to the side that started in the midweek win over Aston Villa, with Phil Foden the only player to retain his place.

Fit again Aymeric Laporte starts for the first time in seven games and he is partnered at centre-half by Eric Garcia, who makes his first appearance for a month after spells out with injury and COVID-19.

Ferran Torres also gets his first start since recovering from the virus, whilst Academy graduates, Tommy Doyle and Harwood-Bellis are also involved in an XI that blends youth and experience.

XI: Steffen, Harwood-Bellis, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho (C), Doyle, Foden, Torres, Mahrez, Jesus.

SUBS: Ederson, Dias, Sterling, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Bernardo, Cancelo, Bernabe.


Guardiola – Every game a priority

Seventy-two places may separate City and Cheltenham, but City will be approaching this game with our usual desire.

Pep Guardiola was asked at his pre-match press conference whether, given the hectic fixture schedule, he would prioritise one competition over another.

The answer? A firm no.

β€œThis is not going to happen with me. I know the Premier League is the most important one and the Champions League is the second most important one, but four finals in a row in the Carabao Cup is because every game is important.

β€œSo, no chance [of prioritising]. Even if we arrive at the game without players, we are going to play the second team, but we don’t drop any competition.”


Injury news πŸ€•

We'll find out who Pep Guardiola has selected for this game in just over 15 minutes, but here is what we know already:

πŸ”Ή  Kevin De Bruyne is out for between four and six weeks after picking up an injury in the midweek win over Aston Villa.

πŸ”Ή Kyle Walker also picked up a knock in that game and will be absent today, but could be back for West Brom on Tuesday.

πŸ”Ή  Sergio Aguero is self-isolating after testing positive for Coronavirus.

πŸ”Ή Nathan Ake remains sidelined with injury, but Aymeric Laporte is fit again after training this week.


Form guide πŸ“ˆ

City beat Birmingham City 3-0 to reach the fourth round and head into the game on the back of a superb run of form that has seen us go unbeaten in our last 16 games in all competitions and win our last nine matches in a row.

Cheltenham sat sixth in League 2 ahead of this weekend after amassing 37 points from their first 23 games.

Town booked their place in the fourth round thanks a 2-1 win over Mansfield Town (after extra time) in their third round encounter earlier this month. They drew 1-1 at home to Newport County in midweek during their latest League Two fixture.


Pitch perfect

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff says the pitch at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium should suit City.

Seventy-two places separate the sides, but the hosts have not tried to create a quagmire of a surface in a bid to unsettle Pep's men.

"We'll make it as hospitable as we can and the one thing they will like is the pitch. You are not going to get a Ronnie Radford scene where it's a ploughed field.

"They will be able to play on it - we won't be training on it to make it as bad as possible. We do pride ourselves on playing good football, we are not going to ruin the pitch for this one-off."


Digital match ticket

'The dream draw, at the worst possible time' is how Cheltenham Town have described today's game.

The League 2 outfit are calling it one of the biggest days in their history and, understandably, the absence of fans is a major blow, which is why they have introduced a digital match ticket with the aim of selling out the delightfully named Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

If it's something you'd like to support, you can find out how to do so in the post below. πŸ‘‡


We're Not Really Here πŸ“Ί

Paul Dickov and Nedum Onuoha are the guests on our live matchday show today and will join presenter Kyle Walker in the studio at the Etihad Stadium to offer their expert analysis.

The pre-game show begins at 16:30 - one hour before we kick-off against the Robins – and is available to watch right here in our Matchday Centre.

Dickov and Onuoha will also provide a brief half-time summary and after the game there will be 30-minutes of post-match reaction.

It’s a must watch for anyone who likes their matchday TV coverage to be unashamedly focused on City and you can get involved and share your thoughts by using the hashtag #WNRH on Twitter.


FA Cup day!

Good afternoon, Blues!

And welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Cheltenham Town, who we are playing in a competitive game for the first time in our history.

Kick-off is at 17:30 (UK) and from here on out I'll be bringing you live updates to guide you through the pre-match build-up, in game action and post-match reaction.


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