At City, Yaya Toure has begun his perennial toys out the pram period, unsurprisingly instigated by his agent Dimitri Seluk following his omission from Guardiola’s Champions League squad.
Meanwhile Francesco Guidolin’s authority has been called into question by some following last weekend’s disappointing defeat to Southampton, in which the Italian’s substitutions were met with visible contempt from his own players.
Neither manager will want to dwell on these slippery issues however, particularly in the case of Guardiola, who would surely prefer the focus to remain on the quality of football his side are currently producing on a weekly basis.
Speaking at his press conference today, Pep was in a modest mood, claiming that his side “will lose games” and that “there was still a lot to work on”. Having only become the second side since Chelsea in 2005 to win all of their opening eight games however, City have soared to outright title favourites.
Tomorrow’s game will see some of the fruits of City’s youth system on show, including Brahim Diaz, the Spanish wunderkind who scored against Manchester United for the U23’s and his compatriot Pablo Maffeo, who has impressed many at right back.
Vincent Kompany may potentially play his first minutes of the season, while David Silva remains on the sidelines following his training ground knock which has kept him out for the past week. Neil Taylor is expected to return for Swansea after his unceremonious 41st minuted substitution against Chelsea and summer signing Borja Baston could make his first start for the Swans following his £15.5 million move from Atlecio Madrid.
At this moment you would be a fool to bet on anything other than a resounding City victory, especially given that they have lost just one of their previous 12 meeting with Swansea in all competitions (W9 D2).
This is however their first meeting in the newly named English Football League Cup, and if Swansea can capitalise on the inexperience of their opponents, this tie may yet yield some surprise.