The Cup gods smiled on City this lunchtime, granting us a home tie against Championship side Scunthorpe in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. The game will take place on the week beginning 26th October.
City did well to avoid any of the 12 other Premier League sides left in the compeition, and Mark Hughes will doubtless be confident of progressing to the quarter finals.
The Iron are holding their own in the Championship after getting promoted via the play-offs last season. At Wembley, they beat a Millwall side managed by former City coach Kenny Jackett. It’s often been noted how Sven’s side went downhill after Jackett left, and it’s interesting to wonder what might have been had he not been tempted by the delights of the New Den.
Given their recent promotion and respectable start in the Championship, City will be facing a confident Iron team, and we’ll need to be mindful of that. The prospect of a trip to Eastlands should excite them and I’d expect a few more in the away end than the 91 from Fulham. With all due respect, it’s hardly a glamour tie for us, and hopefully City will price tickets accordingly.
With Mark Hughes rightly looking to win the Carling Cup this season, it’s interesting to look at how the draw panned out for our potential rivals. With the ‘big four’ all fielding weaker teams in this competition, it’s hard to say where the biggest threats lie.
Sunderland and Villa both fielded strong sides in the last round and are now playing each other, so one of them will be out of the way.
I was surprised to see Everton field a strong side last time, given they’re having to cope with the Europa League as well, and it will be good to see either them or Spurs go out at White Hart Lane.
Arsenal always use this competition for their conveyor belt of youngsters, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against a Liverpool side that scraped past Leeds.
United have landed themselves an easier tie against struggling Barnsley. If City are going to be doing better in cup competitions, then it’s likely we’ll start seeing more of United. At the moment I’m quite happy to avoid them.
Stat facts: City have only played Scunthorpe 4 times competitively but have won them all scoring 21 times! Last time, Robbie Fowler bagged a hat-trick in the FA Cup in 2006. The only League Cup tie finished 6-0 in the 1974/75 season.
Check out video of Scunthorpe’s latest exploits on their BBC page here if you wish. (At the time of writing it’s showing their victory in the previous round against Port Vale).
- Do you have any thoughts on the draw, or memories of previous encounters against the Irons? (I confess I barely remember the Fowler hat-trick though I’m sure I was there!)