Manchester City legend Shaun Goater expects manager Pep Guardiola to rest key players for the Carabao Cup final against Tottenham this Sunday.
With the Premier League title as good as sealed, City face a season-defining few days in their hopes of winning a treble.
The cup final against Spurs is followed by the away leg of their Champions League semi-final with Paris Saint-Germain just three days later.
While it’s difficult to suggest any Wembley final should ever come second, Guardiola’s men have won the Carabao Cup the last three years in a row and continue to chase a first-ever European triumph.
It’s why Goater, the former striker who made more than 200 appearances for City, expects a slightly weakened side to face Tottenham on Sunday.
“We always hear managers and coaches say, ‘It’s about the immediate game, all we’re thinking about is Tottenham’,” Goater told talkSPORT 2.
“But we’ll look at some players and think, ‘Is this his best team?’
“It will still be a strong team, because City have such a brilliant squad that you could look at it and still think it’s a quality team.
“But I think there be be one or two key players who perhaps won’t start against Tottenham.”
Spurs will be led out by 29-year-old interim boss Ryan Mason, who stepped in on a temporary basis earlier this week following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
While many questioned the timing of Mourinho’s departure, given his exceptional record in cup finals, Goater believes the situation could work in Mason’s favour.
He added: “If Jose was there, I would still be confident because Guardiola has really dominated that battle against Mourinho.
“Mason could look at it and think, ‘I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain’.
“He can look around his dressing room, really pick those players up and say, ‘Listen, you’re Kane, you’re Son – go prove to the world that you guys are great players’.”
Goater was speaking with Paul Coyte on Sports Day, tune in every morning between 6-9am on talkSPORT2 for the very best interviews and reaction to the days biggest sports stories!