Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to go for strength


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he will field his strongest team against Middlesbrough in the sixth round of the FA Cup.

The Citizens drew a blank in their goalless draw at home to Stoke City in the Premier League on Wednesday evening and Guardiola expects another tough encounter when his side head to Teesside, with a place in a Wembley semi-final on the line.

The Spaniard told reporters: “We have to put the best squad possible in. We are not playing for one point or three points, we have to win.

“Middlesbrough are a very well-organised, defensive team. It’s going to very difficult because they concede very few goals.

“I am not thinking about titles. Of course all managers at big clubs want to fight for titles, but we are thinking (only) about tomorrow.”

Winger Raheem Sterling is set for a recall after being rested for the clash with the Potters, while central defender John Stones and David Silva are likely to return to the starting line-up, having started on the bench in midweek.

The league meeting of the two sides at the Etihad Stadium in November ended in a 1-1 draw, with Marten de Roon netting a last-gasp equaliser for Boro.