Stefan Ortega makes the front cover of the Manchester City programme. Presumably, the second-choice goalkeeper was the safest bet for a start this evening with much-changed line-ups expected. Pep Guardiola is talking up Chelsea in his notes though.
“This is about the toughest game we could have at this stage. They are a top team with outstanding quality in every position, so this will be a huge battle for us.”
City, of course, won this competition four times on the bounce under Guardiola before finally surrendering the trophy last season. That reflects the depth of their squad.
Graham Potter has options too. The problem for the new Chelsea boss is that he is still figuring out his best team, his best formation, those he can rely on and those he cannot.
Maybe tonight will be another step towards finding out. But if this is a tricky assignment for City, it’s even more difficult for their opponents.
Man City team news
Team to play Chelsea: Ortega, Lewis, Dias, Laporte, Gomez, Rodri, Gundogan, Palmer, Mahrez, Alvarez, Grealish.
Chelsea team news
Team to play Man City: Mendy, Hall, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Zakaria, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Broja, Pulisic.
Subs: Bettinelli, Silva, Aubameyang, Sterling, Mount, Gallagher, Azpilicueta, Havertz, Hutchinson.
Subs: Ederson, Phillips, Stones, Ake, Haaland, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Akanji, Foden.