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Manchester City v Sheffield Utd Preview

Manchester City v Sheffield Utd Preview

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Manchester City take a break from the Premier League this weekend as they welcome Sheffield United to the Etihad in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. 

Pep Guardiola’s men have got themselves within touching distance of the Gunners in the race for the Premier League title, with the two set to clash in the next few weeks. That’s all on hold this weekend though, as their attention shifts to the FA Cup and Sheffield United. 

In form

Both teams come into this cup semi-final in excellent form. The Blades look set to gain the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship behind leaders Burnley. A cup final trip to Wembley would really round this season off nicely for Paul Heckinbottom and his men. 

United have won six of their last seven games in all competitions and their confidence is sky high heading into this clash. That should stand them in good stead, as they’ll need to be at the top of their game to match the hosts. 

City have gone on a great run themselves and come into this on the back of a 14-game unbeaten run, including wins in their last 10 consecutive matches in all competitions. They are on fire at the moment and that has to be a worry for the visitors. 

Expect changes

We know that Guardiola is a massively competitive manager and he will want his team to win every competition they are a part of. That said, he will no doubt want to keep his star players in tip top condition as the business end of the Premier League and Champions League campaigns approach. 

Out of the remaining competitions, Guardiola will prioritise this one the least. That’s likely to result in a number of changes to the side that beat Leicester last weekend. Chief among those changes is expected to be Erling Haaland, who could be given a rest with Julian Alverze deputising. 

Attacking football 

Both teams have a strong identity, fortunately for neutrals those styles both involve creative, attacking football. Attack can actually be the best form of defence against City and you can expect Sheffield United to come out all guns blazing on Saturday. 

That will, of course, leave them susceptible to the counter attack. If Julian Alvarez is to lead the attack for the hosts, his pace in behind could be a real asset and something that the visitors struggle to deal with. 

The Argentine has been an excellent option for Guardiola this season, often coming in and having huge impacts on games. He will be begging his manager to throw him in here and give him another opportunity to show everyone what he’s capable of. 

Don’t expect a shock

This is usually a competition that throws up shock results, but don’t expect one here. Manchester City have lost just once at home this season in all competitions and the likelihood of that doubling this weekend is slim to none. United will give it a go, but City’s class will prevail.

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