The Carabao Cup, or the EFL Cup as more commonly referred to, has been an ideal opportunity for Manchester City to bleed their youngsters into the first team.
An ideal competition for fans to see these players outside the first XI in the early rounds, with the first-team strong squad taking over in the latter stages to attempt to win the trophy.
Pep Guardiola takes this competition seriously winning the competition four times, with the club honouring the competition by winning it six in total during the Arab era.
However, Chelsea is the opponent and will be looking for their first trophy under Graham Potter and new ownership, so there’s a high potential for the opponents to field a strong XI. A chance for Raheem Sterling to revisit the Etihad.
So, are we likely going to see the fringe youngsters or some academy players from the start? Laura doesn’t think so with her predicted line-up, so will it be a surprise to see any academy players?
A Joao Cancelo suspension will force Guardiola’s hand and potentially hand Rico Lewis a start, a chance to further his credentials among City fans following his goal from his first start in the Champions League.
The right-back was excellent in the game against Sevilla and will be looking to test himself should Pep decide against putting John Stones or Manuel Akanji in his place.
Josh Wilson-Ebrand will compete with Sergio Gomez for the left-back position with the centre-back pairings remaining strong in depth. However, his involvement in the Football League Trophy fixture against Grimsby last night may only see him parked on the bench.
Cole Palmer can hardly be judged as an academy player these days after being in the first-team squad for over a year now, however he is yet to grab his opportunity when given a start.
The 20-year-old will likely give either Kevin De Bruyne or Bernardo Silva a rest in this competition.
One player everyone wants to see is Carlos Borges. The forward scored four goals in the Manchester derby when the two sides met last weekend and cheekily gave Cristiano Ronaldo ‘calm’ celebration.
The Portuguese winger has been the highlight of the academy performances so far this season with 26 goal involvements (16 goals and 10 assists) in 18 games.
His appearance in the match away to Grimsby will likely rule him out of the starting XI but may feature from the bench.
A chance to see into the future but Pep will more likely get the result won before getting his crystal ball out ready.