SERGIO Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne won’t be anywhere to be seen tomorrow night as Manchester City come to the UniBol but Keith Hill believes Wanderers’ opposition will bear plenty of familiar hallmarks.

Such is the deep-running blueprint at the Etihad these days that teams from six and above are schooled in the same footballing principles as Pep Guardiola employs in the Premier League on a weekly basis.

City’s kids have already won their first two groups games in the Trophy to qualify for the next round and Hill saw first-hand back in January just how deep the squad’s quality ran.

Then in charge of Rochdale, the Bolton boss saw his team beaten 4-2 in the quarter-finals after leading 2-0.

City eventually lost out in the last four to Sunderland but also made it to the FA Youth Cup final, their players pushing on this season to play out on loan for the likes of Celtic (Emmanuel Frimpong), Wolfsburg (Lukas Nmecha) or PSV (Claudio Gomes).

The next group appear equally talented and Hill is full of admiration for the way City have restructured – at great cost – to lead the way at home and abroad.

“The infrastructure is incredible,” he said. “We seem to forget that in my lifetime as a manager and a player they were playing League One football. They have just ripped the rulebook up and started again.

“They are dominating English football and it won’t be long before they do the same to Europe. That is the next step.

“And it’s all to do with what they are putting in place. We’re not just talking first team – it’s six, seven, eight-year-old players. It’s magnificent.

“They are investing in people, the best possible staff to feed into the Manchester City community.

“They have the feeder clubs, a global franchise, and Pep is the leader of the football operation, he’s integral to the footballing ideology they have got which drips through the whole of the club and particularly the team we’ll be playing on Tuesday night.”

Pep Guardiola may not be there in the flesh tonight, as an estimated 4-5,000 take advantage of reduced tickets to get their midweek football fix, but his influence will be felt strongly on the pitch, says Hill.

“The way he started things at Barca, everything is about the way he was taught under Johan Cruyff,” he said. “When he went in at Manchester City they didn’t just want him to sort out the first team, they wanted that blueprint on the whole franchise.

"They invest in players but they also put such effort into the team behind the team, the right mentors, the sports science department, even the best under-six or sevens coaches making sure the same system is embraced and the conveyor belt just keeps on moving.”

Hill’s own efforts to restructure at Bolton and implement a footballing philosophy from top to bottom could be seen as a scaled down version of Guardiola’s considerable culture shift at City.

Just two months into the job and without the considerable resources of his fellow boss, Hill knows his own long-term vision at Wanderers will take time to produce results.

But the ability to affect change at a club, regardless of the scale, is something Hill admires in the Spaniard.

“The one thing he’s always had is control. He has had power,” he said.

“He has been able to make those big, big decisions wherever he has been – whether it’s Joe Hart at City, Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Barca, they are huge calls.

“You go back to Sir Alex Ferguson and he did the same thing, a manager who will make a club better by making changes. I don’t think Pep would be Manchester City’s manager unless he felt he had that power.

“It is evident what he does is very successful and more importantly the group of players he has subscribe to that 100 per cent.”