Barnsley will be under no illusions as to the magnitude of their FA Cup quarter-final tie when they travel to Manchester City in Saturday’s late kick-off. The Tykes are the lowest ranked side left in the competition and will be hoping to cause one of the biggest shocks the game has seen in recent years.
The current Premier League Champions are currently 12 points behind rivals Manchester United in the hunt for a second league title and manager Roberto Mancini may see the competition as their only real chance for success this season.
City, who comfortably beat Leeds 4-0 in the last round, won the competition previously in 2011 courtesy of a Yaya Toure strike against Stoke. A 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Monday leads them into the tie in good form, but the loss of Jack Rodwell to injury early on will be a blow to Mancini’s selection this weekend.
Owing to the gulf in finances and league places between the two clubs, Barnsley go into the tie at the Etihad as huge underdogs, a title that they have previously revelled under after knocking Chelsea out at the same stage in 2008.
Manager David Flitcroft will be looking to top scorer Chris Dagnall to help provide the ammunition for a potential FA Cup banana skin. The former Scunthorpe striker has bagged nine goals for his struggling side this year including three in this year’s competition.
The away side will have to better their previous performances against City, which has seen them ship 15 goals in the last three previous meetings between the sides.
Meanwhile, City’s reserve keeper Costel Pantilimon has played every minute of their FA Cup run this year and the giant Romanian will be hoping to keep his place.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5.30pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
Manchester City 7 ( Barton, Macken 2, Flood, Wright-Phillips, Sibierski 2) Barnsley 1 (Conlon), Carling Cup, September 2004
Manchester City 5 (Huckerby 3, Macken 2) Barnsley 1 (Dyer), Football League Division 1, April 2002
Barnsley 0 Manchester City 3 (Goater, Pearce, Huckerby), Football League Division 1, October 2001
City have prevailed on both previous meetings between the two sides in the FA Cup. A 2-0 victory at home in 1993 adds to the 2-1 victory way back in 1948
Despite winning the trophy in 2011, City have not managed to qualify for another FA Cup semi-final in the past 32 years.
City have an impressive average of 3.11 goals per game in home ties against the Tykes, and will be hoping for something similar in order to progress
This will be the 33rd meeting between the two sides. City have tasted victory in 16 of the games played, whilst Barnsley have won just six.
Manchester City: 1.15
TV: Live on ESPN at 5.30pm and highlights on ITV1 at 10.35pm