Today marks Port Vale’s highly anticipated third round FA Cup tie against the current holders, Manchester City. The Valiants face the mammoth task of taking on the team that achieved the domestic treble last season as they travel to Etihad Stadium. You can find all of the key information regarding the game, below.
Fixture: Manchester City vs Port Vale
Competition: Emirates FA cup
Date: Saturday 4th January 2020
Kick-Off: 5:31 pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: Lee Mason
Manager: John Askey
Top Goal Scorer: Jake Taylor (6 goals)
The Vale's FA Cup journey began away at League One side MK Dons, where a David Worrall diving header secured a second round trip to Cheltenham Town at the end of November.
It was there that a seven minute second-half Tom Pope hat-trick booked Port Vale’s place in the third round draw at the Etihad Stadium, and they were pulled out of the hat by Tony Adams and rewarded with a trip to the Premier League champions, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
John Askey is still without Adam Crookes and Manny Oyeleke, but despite the hectic Christmas period the gaffer has not suffered any fresh injuries, meaning that he has a fully fit squad to choose from.
“It’s one just to try and enjoy, it’s not always the greatest experience if you’re not competing but hopefully we can, I’m just pleased for the football club, it keeps the feel good factor going that’s been here since Carol and Kevin came in, so win, lose or draw, it’s something that we’ve not done for quite some number of years.”
John Askey, Port Vale Manager
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Top Goal Scorer(s): Raheem Sterling (20 goals)
The Citizens kicked off their 2018/19 FA Cup winning run with a 7-0 third round home victory over Rotherham United last season, a run where they scored 26 goals and conceded just three on route to the trophy, in whatwould be a very successful season for Guardiola's side.
The reigning Premier League champions have had a mixed start to this season however, with the side sat third in the Premier League and 13 points off table toppers Liverpool, despite this they have suffered just five defeats in all competitions this season and will be hoping they can retain their FA Cup title.
City have had an injury-hit season, with winger Leroy Sane suffering a major knee injury in the Community Shield final at Wembley before the season began, and he is joined on the sidelines by defender Aymeric Laporte. Fellow defender Nicolas Otamendi and goalkeeper Ederson have both also been ruled out whilst John Stones has recently returned from injury but remain doubts for the game. Midfielder David Silva also recently returned to action, coming off the bench against Everton on New Year’s Day.
One to watch: Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City’s talisman, and one of the world’s best players, Kevin De Bruyne is enjoying yet another stunning season, scoring seven goals and picking up 12 assists so far this campaign.
The Belgian began his career in his home nation with Genk before being picked up by Chelsea after impressing in his 97 games for the club.
After failing to get an opportunity at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder was sent on loan to Werder Bremen where he shone and earnt a move to VFL Wolfsburg.
His 37 assists and 20 goals during his time with Wolfsburg was enough to persuade Man City to sign De Bruyne for 55 million pounds and he has taken England by storm, already bagging 48 goals and 80 assists for the Citizens.
John Askey: “We’ll try and have a go, because it's pointless going and just defending for 90 minutes and not giving the supporters something to shout about so hopefully we can.”
Pep Guardiola: "Port Vale will be more than welcome. It’s nice. That’s why this country is the best. All the competitions and all the leagues, they support their own clubs. This afternoon I will see more games of them. Then we will decide how we play.”
iFollow The Vale will be providing full 90-minute commentary from the match for £2.50, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be the build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: officialpvfc
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and social media.