Saturday 23 March 2019

Guardiola warns City of an early onslaught from giant-killing Wigan side

Wigan Ath v Manchester City Live BBC1, KO 7.55

UP FOR THE CUP: Claudio Bravo is set to start in goal for Manchester City at Wigan tonight
UP FOR THE CUP: Claudio Bravo is set to start in goal for Manchester City at Wigan tonight

Pep Guardiola expects Wigan to race out of the blocks when they face his Manchester City side in the FA Cup tonight.

Premier League leaders City travel to the DW Stadium in a repeat of the 2013 final, which was famously won by Wigan.

Latics also stunned City in the 2014 quarter-finals and, even though they have since slipped to League One, Guardiola is braced for a tough challenge.

Paul Cook's Wigan, who are enjoying a fine season and on course for promotion, have already beaten two top-flight sides in Bournemouth and West Ham this season.

"They are going to start so so so so hard because they are so intense, so aggressive without the ball and we have to be ready," said Guardiola.

"When you play at home it's one issue but when you play away in tough conditions in January and February teams like Wigan, who showed in the games against Bournemouth that anything can happen in one game - you could have a sending off, can win if you are not ready."

City continue to fight on four fronts and Guardiola is pleased his squad's injury list is easing.

Fabian Delph, David Silva and Leroy Sane all returned to action in the midweek Champions League win at Basel and Gabriel Jesus is also back in training.

Guardiola said: "We have a (strong) squad when everyone is fit.

"Ten days ago we had seven injured but now most have recovered - Silva and Delph and other players - so of course we are going to take it seriously."

Claudio Bravo could also start in goal if Guardiola maintains his policy of playing the Chilean in place of Ederson in domestic cup matches.

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