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Manchester City v Sheffield United preview: Pep Guardiola's side to keep treble hopes alive

With Manchester City still in the running to complete the treble this season, Pep Guardiola's next challenge is to progress past Sheffield United in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final.

City have some happy memories of Wembley in recent years, and it’s hard to see the Citizens fans heading home from the national stadium without smiles on their faces with their treble dreams still very much alive.

WhatManchester City v Sheffield United
WhereWembley Stadium, London
When16:45, Saturday 22nd April 2023
How to watchITV
OddsMan City 1/7, Draw 8/1, Sheff Utd 14/1

Hectic schedule for City continues

Battling on three fronts means it has been a busy schedule for Manchester City in April, with no less than eight games over the space of 30 days.

That pace is set to continue for the remainder of the season if City reach the FA Cup final and can battle their way past Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League, in a competition they are 4/6 to win.

It means Guardiola is having to manage the workload of his players, but fortunately for the Spanish tactician he’s blessed with a squad with strength in depth that is brimming with confidence.

City were on a 10-game winning streak before their stalemate at Bayern Munich in midweek, a result that saw the Citizens easily progress to the Champions League semi-finals.

Nathan Ake picked up a hamstring injury in that 1-1 draw in Bavaria, meaning the Dutchman is unlikely to be risked against the Blades this weekend.

Guardiola has no other injury concerns and can even call upon Phil Foden, who has been sidelined recently after appendix surgery.

It remains to be seen who the City boss goes with in attack and whether goal machine Erling Haaland will start, or if Julian Alvarez gets a chance from the first whistle.

Haaland is available at 1/3 to score Anytime on Saturday, while Argentine World Cup winner Alvarez is 4/5.

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Blades looking to cause an upset

It has been a fine season for Sheffield United, as the South Yorkshire outfit look on course to make a return to the Premier League for next season.

Burnley have been grabbing much of the headlines for their efforts in the Championship and that has perhaps taken the pressure off the Blades and allowed them to go about their business in the second tier.

Paul Heckingbottom has not only been able to help United climb to second, but also managed to carry the Blades through a memorable FA Cup run to the semi-finals.

Battling past Millwall, Wrexham (after a replay), Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers, it has certainly been no easy journey on the way to the last four of the competition.

The Blades, who are 9/1 To Qualify for the final, really have nothing to lose and they can afford to chuck everything at City’s star-studded side and try to give their own fans something to cheer about.

United do have injuries going into Saturday’s game with Enda Stevens, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Ben Osborn, Rhian Brewster and Jack O'Connell all set to miss out on the big day at Wembley.

City loanees James McAtee and Tommy Doyle will be ineligible to face their parent club, but there is positive news for Heckingbottom, with keeper Wes Fotheringham returning after completing his suspension.

Hard to see a giant-killing here

The FA Cup has a long and rich history of upsets but it’s hard to see City crashing out of the competition this weekend.

City have also had to work hard to reach this stage, beating Chelsea, Arsenal, Bristol City and Burnley to reach the semis.

The Citizens put six goals past Championship leaders Burnley in the last round and it could be a similar scoreline this weekend against the Blades.

City’s defence has been outstanding of late and the current Premier League champions are 5/6 to win to nil in the capital. 

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