Pep Guardiola recognises the Carabao Cup lacks glamour but that does not diminish his determination to add to his trophy haul this weekend.
City are bidding to retain the first of the two trophies they won last season as they take on Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
Guardiola has claimed 24 pieces of silverware in a decade of management with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City and it is clear he places high value even on those lightly regarded by others.
He said: “Of course it’s not the most important title of the season but once we are here, in Wembley, a mythical stadium, a nice stadium, against a top side like Chelsea, we want to prepare to win the final. It’s important.
“Once we are in a final we want to enjoy it, compete well and improve. And try to win.”
Guardiola even took issue with a question at his pre-match press conference which referred to the Carabao Cup as a potential first trophy of the season.
“I wouldn’t want to be arrogant but it will be the second one,” he said matter-of-factly. “We won the Community Shield.”
City have injury doubts for the game over John Stones, Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph.
Defender Stones and striker Jesus missed the midweek Champions League win at Schalke with groin and hamstring injuries respectively and will be assessed. Mendy and Delph have been out for a number of weeks and seem unlikely to be involved.
Guardiola is yet to decide if Aro Muric will play in goal, despite the 20-year-old starting in all the previous rounds.
Muric has been the main understudy to first-choice Ederson this season in the absence of the injured Claudio Bravo.
“We will see, I have to think about that,” Guardiola said. “But I think he was an important player to (get us to) be where we are.
“In the Leicester game he was an important player in the penalties. It was incredible the way he played.
“With the Claudio situation, he’s the second keeper for Man City. We trust in him. If not, in the transfer window we would have looked for another player.”
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