Man City vs Burton: Premier League champions compared with League One underdogs. It’s David vs Goliath on Wednesday night, when Burton travel to Manchester City for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final – but how great is the disparity between the clubs?
The teams have never met before but, with 52 places separating last season’s record-breaking Premier League champions and League One Burton, the underdogs are facing a huge challenge.
The numbers below underline just how much of a disparity there is between the two clubs – and what a feat it would be if Nigel Clough’s side spring a surprise…
Burton Albion’s squad value this season is around the £6m mark, according to transfermarkt.co.uk, with £500,000 alone spent on record-signing Liam Boyce.
By contrast, Manchester City’s current squad is valued at just over £1bn, with their most expensive acquisition, Riyad Mahrez, joining the club last summer for £60m.
According to those figures, Pep Guardiola’s side are worth 167 times more than their upcoming visitors.
Burton Albion boast two internationals in their squad this season: striker Liam Boyce, with 17 caps and one goal for Northern Ireland, and Stephen Quinn, who has appeared 18 times for the Republic of Ireland.
Goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov made Bulgaria’s bench during their recent UEFA Nations League campaign, while forward Marvin Sordell made two appearances for the Great Britain Olympic Team in 2012.
In contrast, Manchester City’s squad boasts 979 international appearances with David Silva leading the way on 125.
They also have two World Cup winners in David Silva and Benjamin Mendy, with Silva also winning two European Championships, while namesake Bernardo missed out on Portugal’s 2016 triumph through injury.
City have won the top division on five occasions including three times in the last decade. They’ve also won five League Cups, five FA Cups and one European Cup Winners’ Cup.
January 9, 2019, 7:30pm
Burton registered their highest ever league position in 2016/17, finishing 20th in the Championship. This followed a fourth-round run in the FA Cup in 2011.
By all accounts, their semi-final run to the Carabao Cup this season may be their finest achievement to date.
The two-legged semi-final will see trips up and down the M6, but many more fans will be heading north to Manchester.
City’s Etihad stadium seats 55,097, while Burton Albion’s Pirelli stadium can hold a relatively modest 6,972 (2,034 seated). In fact, the Etihad’s 3,000 seats allocated to away fans is almost the average total attendance at Burton this term (3,281).
The average player at City earns £6m a year, while Burton’s wage bill for the entire squad totals £8m. To put that into perspective, Burton couldn’t even afford half of Kevin De Bruyne’s £19.1m annual salary.
Burton Albion are 22/1 outsiders with Sky Bet to win the first leg, with Manchester City odds on at 1/12. Stranger things have happened…