Manchester City to face Hull in League Cup quarterfinals
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 01, 2015 10:13 AM
Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini goes to shake hands with his player Manchester City's Sergio Aguero as he is substituted during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
LONDON (AP) — With or without Sergio Aguero, Manchester City has a League Cup quarterfinal match to play on Tuesday.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said he will play his best team at home against Hull, but Aguero came off with a possible injury midway through the second half of his team's 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday.
"Kun came off as a precaution," Pellegrini said of Aguero. "I spoke with him before the game and we said he would play 65 minutes. He has a kick in his heel, but nothing important."
City won the League Cup in 2014, and went on to win the Premier League title. Chelsea did the same last season, but the Blues have already been eliminated from the cup competition and are struggling in the league.
"It's important for us to reach the semifinal of the League Cup," Pellegrini said.
Hull, which plays in the second-tier League Championship, has won only one of the last nine meetings between the two sides. However, the Tigers have already beaten Premier League clubs Swansea and Leicester to reach the quarterfinals.
In the other games, Liverpool will visit Southampton on Wednesday in the only match between two Premier League teams. On Tuesday, Middlesbrough hosts Everton and Stoke hosts Sheffield Wednesday.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he expects Philippe Countinho to play against Southampton despite missing the 1-0 win over Swansea on Sunday.
"Philippe had a very intensive session yesterday but we decided two or three days ago that we didn't want to risk (him) for this game," Klopp said. "Now I think he's fit. I saw him in the dressing room and he looks good. I'll have to talk with him tomorrow. I think he's ready for Southampton."
The match will be a return for both Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne, who joined Liverpool from Southampton.
Sheffield Wednesday, which reached the quarterfinals by beating Arsenal 3-0, faces a tough trip to Stoke. But striker Lucas Joao said the team believes it can advance.
"Stoke have quality players but we don't fear them," the Portuguese forward said. "We will do everything we can to win."
Middlebrough also took out a Premier League team on its way to the quarterfinals, beating Manchester United in a penalty shootout at Old Trafford.
Everton will play Tuesday without Tim Howard in goal, according to manager Roberto Martinez.
"Joel Robles was man of the match in the previous round," Martinez said of his backup goalkeeper. "He will start the game tomorrow."