It’s to Gigg Lane for t’Cup. Harry Drew is looking forward to it.
Following a tense penalty shoot-out at Valley Parade a little more than a week ago, the identity of City’s opponents in the fourth round of the FA Cup was finally known. Away fixtures at lower league sides in the north-west of England is becoming something of a habit, with City going to Accrington back in August in the first round of the League Cup.
Fans largely enjoyed their evening at the Crown Ground despite a dismal display that resulted in a narrow penalty shoot-out win. There will be no such antics on Saturday – a draw will only produce a replay which, in truth, both sides will be hoping to avoid.
January has thus far been a perfect month for the Tigers. With five wins and only one goal conceded, City have hit a purple patch at a crucial time. Bury manager David Flitcroft has spoken in glowing terms about City’s management and squad, praising Steve Bruce’s ability to motivate his players following relegation.
Abel Hernandez has been the obvious standout player of late, scoring six goals in his last five appearances. Steve Bruce has stated his desire to rotate the squad on Saturday, so it is possible that the Uruguayan will be rested along with other first team players.
In other team news, Michael Dawson, Alex Bruce and Adama Diomande are back fit following injuries. Shaun Maloney will not feature having not yet recovered from a knock sustained in training. There is a chance that 16-year-old left back Josh Tymon, who is highly rated by Bruce, could make his first team debut.
In spite of their cup heroics last week, Bury have otherwise been in indifferent form. The Shakers have only scored three goals in their last seven games in all competitions and have lost four of their last six league fixtures. They currently occupy 12th spot in League One, six points off the play-off places.
Perhaps surprisingly, this fixture’s history looks favourably upon Bury (although this, of course, means nothing). City have only won six times in 31 visits to Gigg Lane, while the six most recent fixtures have yielded just one City win. Indeed this victory came the last time the two sides met in 2003, Jason Price and Ben Burgess scoring in a 2-0 win at the KC.
With over 2,500 City fans heading to Gigg Lane, it should be a cracking atmosphere.
Harry Drew @hdrew95