Our event of the day is the EFL Cup
game between Manchester City and Bristol City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. This is the first leg of the cup semi-final; the return leg is scheduled for January 23rd in Bristol. Manchester City are huge favourites in this tie – they top the Premier League with a 15 points gap to second place, having gone unbeaten through 22 rounds, 20 wins and two draws. The Citizens are also undefeated in all competitions in their last nine matches, but had to dig deep to reach the last four of the EFL Cup as they eliminated both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City on penalties in the last two rounds.
Bristol City have been the real surprise package of the League Cup this season as they have knocked out four top-tier clubs en route to the semi-final, including the Sky Blues’ city rivals Manchester United in the quarter-final (2-1). The Robins had six wins out of seven games in all competitions before falling to three straight defeats; the last was an FA Cup exit away to Watford (3-0). But, they’re still positioned high in the Championship table – with 47 points they are in fourth place and in target for a playoff spot. Manchester City and Bristol City have met only once since 1980, and that was in this very competition – the Manchester side recorded a 2-1 away win in 2007. Chilean Claudio Bravo should be in goal for City as he plays in domestic knockout football for the side, while the Robins will rely on Bobby Reid to score, scorer of 12 goals in the Championship this season. It should be an entertaining first-leg at the Etihad.
around the globe go to the 2nd ODI
between New Zealand and Pakistan at the Saxton Oval in Nelson. New Zealand won the 1st ODI in Wellington by 61 runs (D/L method). Three more ODIs will follow: in Dunedin, Hamilton and Wellington, respectively. Also in cricket, in the Big Bash League
, the Adelaide Strikers host the Melbourne Stars at the Adelaide Oval. It’s Day 3 of the Sydney International
at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Sydney; and the second day of the ATP Auckland Open
at the ASB Tennis Centre in Auckland. In the NBA
, the Toronto Raptors welcome the Miami Heat to the Air Canada Centre; while the Oklahoma City Thunder face the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The NHL
brings the duel between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes at the Amalie Arena in Tampa; as well as the clash of the Calgary Flames and the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Manchester City; Bristol City