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Nic Ladds 23rd Jan 2010 - 21:11

Man City to rule with an Iron fist

The FA Cup serves up David v Goliath in this fourth round tie as moneybags Manchester City travel to Championship strugglers Scunthorpe.

Although Roberto Mancini is expect to make some changes to his side they should still have more than enough quality to dump the Irons out of the Cup and progress in what should be their best chance of winning the FA Cup in recent memory.

Man City (2/5) saw off Middlesbrough fairly easily in the third round without using a full strength squad and you would expect them to repeat that with a visit to Glanford Park. With one eye on the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against their city rivals on Wednesday - Mancini will want to win, but without risking any of his big names.

Scunthorpe (7/1) might be a decent price considering they could be facing a weakened team, magic of the FA Cup and all, and are in desperate need of a confidence boost sitting perilously close to the drop zone. They have won two and drawn one of their last three league games but none have been quite as strong as Man City and they should expect this match to be damage limitation.

Team news shouldn't really affect Man City such is the wealth of talent in their ranks but Stephen Ireland is hopefully a welcome return to the squad and at 15/2 first goal, could be a welcome return for us punters too. Carlos Tevez is expected to be used only if needed so maybe last goal scorer should be looked at 7/2.

The tie comes too soon for Roque Santa Cruz and Patrick Vieira so City will hope Benjani can add to his goal in the previous round and at 7/2 you can hope for it too. Joleon Lescott, Michael Johnson and Wayne Bridge are all still sidelined.

Josh Lillis will hope to keep his place in goal for Scunthorpe after taking over for the injured Joe Murphy and conceding just two in the last three games. Midfielder Josh Wright has recovered from illness and should start although fellow midfielder Michael O'Connor is suspended.

The Irons won't thank our friends at Opta as the stats do not favour them at all. Man City have won all of the previous five matches between these two, bagging at least three in each match. Man City to win the race to three goals is 17/10 if you think they can do it again. You can expect a fair few flying in though with Scunthorpe having one of the leakiest defenses in their league so over 2 goals at 4/6 should be a good bet.

These two teams have already matched up this season in the Carling Cup with City running out comprehensive 5-1 victors. If you think they can do it again you can get 40/1 but my guess at a score is Man City 3-1 which is 9/1 as I expect them to be comfortable but Scunthorpe should up their game for such an occasion and could bag a goal.

Although Man City haven't the best FA Cup record and have one of their biggest matches of recent times in midweek you would still expect them to have the quality to see off a struggling Championship side. Scunthorpe will look for a massive performance to even scrape a draw and get a replay, but would they really want that?

City would love to go on and lift this Cup however they could be cursed this year as they beat Middlesbrough in the last round and in the last five seasons the side that has knocked Middlesbrough out has gone on to be runners-up so the omens do not look good for them.



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