Manchester City are unhappy their Under-21 side’s Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final will be played just 24 hours before next Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, Press Association Sport understands.
City wanted the trophy fixture be played another time to allow a number of youngsters to feature in the League Cup match at Burton, which the Premier League champions will begin with a 9-0 aggregate lead.
But requests were turned down by the English Football League, organisers of both competitions, and the Under-21s’ tie at Sunderland has been arranged for Tuesday night.
City are frustrated because they feel they have taken the two events seriously and the League Cup game would have presented an ideal opportunity to allow youngsters experience in Pep Guardiola’s first team.
With no apparent prospect of any player being asked to play in both fixtures, the club will now have to earmark players for one or the other. As they are still keen to progress in the trophy, and particularly with an attractive fixture at Sunderland to play in that competition, it will not be a straightforward decision.
It could mean more first-team regulars feature at Burton than might previously have been expected.
It is understood City suggested a number of alternative dates but all were dismissed.
The EFL revealed that none of the suggested alternative dates were practical and a spokesman said: “The scheduling of Manchester City’s visit to Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy has been dated for Tuesday 22nd January. This decision was made after full consideration of the representations of both clubs, along with enquiries of our own.
“With no mutual agreement between the clubs, the decision fell to the executive of the EFL.
“There is a significant amount of sympathy with the position outlined by Manchester City and the fact that the dating of this game could remove one opportunity for the club’s younger players to play in a first team competitive game with the Carabao Cup semi-final 2nd leg the day after.
“The EFL is committed to delivering valuable playing opportunities for young players and would have assisted, if it had been practically possible but the alternative dates all had issues with them.
“The EFL is grateful for the support of both clubs towards the Checkatrade Trophy and Pep Guardiola’s backing of the Carabao Cup.”