Championship outfit Barnsley face the almost impossible task of having to overcome Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium if they are to reach Wembley and the last four of the FA Cup for the first time since 2008.
The Citizens, who of course won the cup in 2011, appear to have targeted another Wembley success to alleviate the pressure on boss Roberto Mancini, who has been criticised for his side’s early Champions League exit and poor defence of their Premier League title.
Mancini looks set to name a strong side for the visit of the Tykes on Saturday evening, though captain Vincent Kompany and striker Sergio Aguero will not be risked due to calf and knee problems respectively. However, the likes of Costel Pantilimon, Kolo Toure, Aleksandar Kolarov, Samir Nasri, Scott Sinclair and Edin Dzeko could all feature from the start. Jack Rodwell (hamstring) and Maicon (knee) are both missing.
Barnsley have done superbly to reach this stage and under new boss David Flictcroft are having a real stab at survival in the Championship, currently sitting in 22nd position and just a point off the safety mark. Indeed, a defeat at the Etihad could thus in fact benefit the players in their bid to stay up.
Midfielder Steven Dawson will be given a late chance to prove his fitness after missing the last nine matches with an ankle injury.