Carling Cup preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City

Amidst all the jubilation after Sunday and todays papers being full of Tevez once again, it’s easy to forget that City have a Carling Cup game tonight. Fortunately Roberto Mancini isn’t one to be distracted from the job in hand.

It’s a real shame that Owen Hargreaves has picked up a calf strain as it would have been great to see him feature both tonight and on Saturday. Maybe Mancini will now give de Jong a run out to improve his match sharpness.

Elsewhere the team is likely to be made up of others who didn’t start on Sunday. Costel Pantilimon is one who needs more games to get used to physical aspect of English football and dealing with crosses in particular.

Nedum Onuoha and Wayne Bridge could be back in from the cold. Will Bridge again be given the David Silva role as he was against Birmingham?

Kolo Toure and Stefan Savic ought to get starts in a much changed defence. With Tevez not training with the main group, Mancini will have to give one of his senior strikers a start. Dzeko is the most likely having not played on Sunday.

Not playing in Europe is likely to mean Wolves field a strong line-up. However their form has been poor and McCarthy’s relationship with a section of the fans appears to be at breaking point.

If City can get in front then Wolves could lose confidence. On the other hand a cup tie could galvanise the home side and our weakened line-up may be fragile.

There’s no doubt that Saturday’s league meeting between the two sides is the bigger game, and Mancini will need to keep players fresh for Villareal next week. As a consequence it’s hard to be sure how either side will perform.

Blue Days line-up:
Onuoha – K Toure – Savic – Bridge
Razak – de Jong
A Johnson – Nasri – Kolarov

Prediction: 2-0 to City.

Verdict: Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6
Carling Cup player ratings: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City

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