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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Pep Guardiola: We are going to go there and try and win the game and go to the final

Manchester City take a 2-1 lead to Ashton Gate when they face second-tier Bristol City in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final on Tuesday

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola throws the ball back into play during the English Premier League match against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium. Rui Vieira / AP Photo
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola throws the ball back into play during the English Premier League match against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium. Rui Vieira / AP Photo

Pep Guardiola has hinted at changes ahead of Manchester City's Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Bristol City - but insists his focus is on victory.

The runaway Premier League leaders hold a slender advantage over their Championship opponents ahead of Tuesday's clash at Ashton Gate having edged their first encounter 2-1 two weeks ago.

City manager Guardiola wants to field a strong side to secure a place in next month's Wembley final but is conscious of the demands on his players as he juggles the challenges of four competitions.

Guardiola said: "Of course we are going to try to see the best team as possible but then Bernardo Silva, [Ilkay] Gundogan, [Eliaquim] Mangala will not be able to play and that will not be fair. I will say we are going to go there and try and win the game and go to the final."

Second-choice goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who has featured in all domestic cup matches this season and starred in two penalty shoot-out victories, is another likely to feature.

Veteran midfielder Yaya Toure and youngsters Brahim Diaz and Oleksandr Zinchenko may also play.

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Zinchenko, a 21-year-old attacking midfielder, has made six appearances this season, mostly as a left-back through necessity, and impressed on his first Premier League start against Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Ukrainian hopes to make the most of his opportunity but is not expecting an easy night.

He said: "It's a big pleasure to be part of this team. Before, when I didn't play for a long time it was not so easy but I had to be professional and wait for my chance.

"This season is not so easy but we can win every title. We have to keep going and we are on the right path.

"Now we have to think about Bristol. We already know about them as the first game was not so easy.

"They defended well and at Bristol it will be a more difficult game. [Manchester] United losing there was a surprise for us but, to be honest, everyone who watched the game could see Bristol City played well. They have shown us they can beat us."

City's 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday saw them back to winning ways after defeat at Liverpool and maintain a 12-point lead at the top of the table.

Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko in action with Newcastle United's Javi Manquillo. Darren Staples / Reuters
Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko in action with Newcastle United's Javi Manquillo. Darren Staples / Reuters

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