7 months ago - Posted by - stanley okonkwo
If there is such a thing as a dangerous lead, 2-1 probably qualifies.
City go to Ashton Gate with a precarious one-goal lead thanks to Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp winner a fortnight ago.
The Robins will be looking to once again press high and play without fear and Lee Johnson’s side know if they can get an early goal, it would be a difficult night for the Blues.
On the flipside, if City can take control and increase the aggregate lead, the hosts would have a mountain to climb.
It’s worth noting that Manchester United led 1-0 until late on Ashton Gate before the Robins came back to win with two late goals.
The away goals rule does count in the Carabao Cup – but only after extra time has been played.
So, if City lost 3-2 on the night, the Blues would progress to the final courtesy of the away goals rule, while a 1-0 win for Bristol City would be enough for the Championship side to progress – but only after extra time had been played.
Should the game end 2-1 after extra time, then a penalty shoot-out would decide the outcome – as has been the case against Wolves and Leicester City for the Blues this season.
Those are at least some of the scenarios!
Lee Johnson – quite rightly – said he was looking forward to a full-house and noisy atmosphere at Ashton Gate for the second leg against City.
On closer examination, however, the Robins’ home form is decent, but not fantastic.
With just seven wins from 14 home games, Bristol City have drawn three and lost four so far this season, dropping 18 points overall.
Of course, for a one-off game and with a partisan home crowd, Johnson’s side are a different proposition.
It may come as a surprise for many City fans to learn that the Blues have a poor record at Ashton Gate.
In fact, prior to the 2007 League Cup tie, the Blues had failed to win any of the 11 previous trips to face the Robins with eight defeats and three draws.
Those stats go back more than 100 years, but still…
City and Bristol City have been involved in a 2-1 score line on an amazing 19 occasions combined – the Blues recording nine 2-1 results and the Robins 10.
As mentioned above, a 2-1 win for the home side is the only result that would take the tie to penalties, but it shows both sides have what it takes to get over the line when needed in tight games.
With no Premier League game this weekend and Cardiff to come next Sunday, the need for Pep Guardiola to rest players is perhaps negligible.
Claudio Bravo looks certain to play and Oleksandr Zinchenko, Eliaquim Mangala, Ilkay Gundogan, Yaya Toure, Danilo and Bernardo Silva are all likely starters.
But don’t be surprised to see a very strong bench, either, with the Blues within sight of Wembley and up against a very good Bristol City side.