The quarterfinals of the 2018/19 Carabao Cup have arrived, and there’s a Premier League matchup waiting for us on which to feast.
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Leicester City is set to take on Manchester City, the third straight Premier League opponent for the Foxes in this competition after having knocked off Wolves and Southampton, both via penalty shootouts. Manchester City, meanwhile, has breezed past Oxford United and Fulham by a total scoreline of 5-0.
That about sums up how many expect this matchup to go, as Manchester City sit as heavy favorites in the 2:45 p.m. ET meeting at King Power Stadium. These two teams have not met yet this season, with their first Premier League fixture scheduled for Boxing Day. That means former Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez could face his old club for the first time since moving to Manchester City this past summer.
Man City attacker Kevin De Bruyne returned from his six-week injury absence over the weekend, coming on for a 15-minute cameo in the 3-1 win over Everton. De Bruyne could reportedly feature in this matchup as City eases him back into action, however it’s also feasible that Pep Guardiola decides to keep him healthy and return him to full action in the team’s upcoming weekend Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace. Sergio Aguero, however, could see significant time as he returns from a groin injury. The Argentinian striker has not played since late November, but is reportedly ready to return.
These two teams met in the quarterfinals last season as well, with Leicester City eliminated on penalties. It was the fourth time in as many Cup meetings that the Foxes were knocked out by Man City.
Elsewhere, a lower-league matchup takes place as Championship side Middlesbrough takes on League One club Burton Albion at Riverside Stadium. The visitors were relegated from the Championship last season and sit 15th in the English third tier so far this campaign, while Middlesbrough has hopes of promotion to the Premier League, sitting sixth at the moment, a season after falling in the playoffs to eventual champions Fulham last time around.
This year marks the first time in the club’s history that Burton Albion has progressed past the third round of the League Cup. “I still can’t quite believe Burton Albion are in the last eight of a major cup competition,” manager Nigel Clough said.