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Monday, 21 January, 2019

City should make light work of Championship challengers

Three the magic number for Citizens

City boss Pep Guardiola
1 of 1

FA Cup fifth-round replay
BBC 1, 7.45pm Wednesday

Pep Guardiola's best chance of landing a trophy in his first season at Manchester City is to win the FA Cup and he can steer the Premier League side to the quarter-finals by masterminding a comfortable victory over Huddersfield at the Etihad.

City were given a tough game in a 0-0 draw at the John Smith's Stadium despite Huddersfield manager David Wagner making seven changes to his team.

Huddersfield's main focus is on their Sky Bet Championship promotion push and Wagner will be planning wholesale changes to ensure key men are kept fresh for Saturday's vital match at home to Newcastle.

Guardiola has a bit more flexibility than he did before the first meeting, which took place three days before the Champions League round-of-16 first leg at home to Monaco.

First-team regulars Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane were left out of the starting line up and City lacked their usual fluency and creativity in attack.

However, some of that quintet are likely to come into the side for the replay, ensuring a much better supply line to Sergio Aguero.
City's top scorer lost his place to Gabriel Jesus earlier this year, placing a question mark over his long-term future at the club.

But Jesus's injury gave Aguero another opportunity to re-establish himself and the Argentinian came to the rescue in the 5-3 victory over Monaco, scoring the second and third City goals which were so crucial in turning the match around.

A fully confident Aguero is bad news for Huddersfield, who have probably missed their only realistic chance of progress.

The Terriers have used their squad to good effect in the Championship but doing so against a near full-strength City could expose them to the risk of a hammering.

It is easy to fancy City but more difficult to make it pay.
The home side are 1-12 to qualify, 1-7 to win the tie in normal time and 1-6 to score at least two goals.

Aguero is just 2-5 to score at any time and 9-4 to notch the first goal. Other likely scorers are also short-priced with De Bruyne, Sterling and Silva quoted at 11-2, 13-2 and 15-2 to notch first.

Defensively, City have been less convincing but they gave up few clear cut chances in the first meeting and should be far more dominant on home soil.

It could be a hard night's work for Huddersfield, who are used to dominating possession in league games.

Wagner's plan will be to keep it tight and perhaps deploy some of his big-hitters from the bench but an early City goal could set the tone and allow the hosts to run out easy winners.

City have scored at least three goals in four of their last six FA Cup games and a 3-0 win looks among the most likely outcomes against Huddersfield.

Man City to win 3-0
1pt 13-2 Paddy Power

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Team news
Man City
Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan are injured but Vincent Kompany (knee) is back in the squad and could start.

Christopher Schindler was injured in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Barnsley and will not feature. Jonathan Hogg remains sidelined.

Key stat
Manchester City have score at least two goals in 12 of their last 15 matches

Wagner's plan will be to keep it tight and perhaps deploy some of his big-hitters from the bench but an early City goal could set the tone
E.W. Terms
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