Swindon Town look to kick off the Third Round of 2021-22 FA Cup with a giant killing as Manchester City visit the County Ground in Friday Night Football.
Victory would see Swindon advance to the Fourth Round for the first time in nine seasons, whereas Man City are yet to exit the competition at this stage since the 2011-12 season.
Jack Payne is ruled out for Swindon after suffering a knee injury in their 5-2 victory over Northampton Town on New Year’s Day.
Jonny Williams (fitness) is a doubt.
Man City manager, Pep Guardiola could rotate his squad despite his absence after a positive Coronavirus test, with Zak Steffen, Fernandinho and Cole Palmer amongst those in contention to start.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Phil Foden remain absent as the pair continue to self-isolate following positive Coronavirus tests.
John Stones (knock) is a doubt but Liam Delap (ankle), Riyad Mahrez (international duty) and Benjamin Mendy (personal) are ruled out.
- Swindon have won two of six previous FA Cup meetings across five ties (W2, D1, L3).
- Man City are winless in three FA Cup visits to Swindon (D1, L2).
- Tyreece Simpson has netted in each of Swindon’s two FA Cup matches so far this season.
- City have won each of their last three FA Cup meetings against League Two opposition (W3), despite failing to keep a clean sheet.
- Victory would see Swindon advance to the Fourth Round for the first time since 2011-12 season.
Although odds are stacked against Swindon on paper in the squad quality stakes, the Robins cannot be written off because they do possess a team ethic in a possession based style of play which could enable them to frustrate City if they can keep control of the ball.
City though know that this Swindon team cannot be underestimated given that the County Ground is a FA Cup hoodoo venue for the Citizens, yet they now hold the much superior advantage in squad talent even despite a sluggish away Premier League win at Arsenal last weekend.
Losing Guardiola and Juanma Lillo for this match as the pair self-isolate though isn’t ideal preparation for City, especially because this is Rodolfo Borrell’s first match in main charge of the team due to their absences so communication and tactics will be key for the visitors here.
I however can’t see City continuing their head-to-head FA Cup away rut against Swindon here given the talent in their squad, even if the coaching department is depleted unfortunately but this might be tighter than some might think given City’s form.
Prediction: Swindon Town 1-3 Manchester City
Result: Swindon Town 1-4 Manchester City