The English Football League Cup Final will take place on Sunday. Aston Villa will be hoping to upset the odds and beat Manchester City for the trophy that is currently called Carabao Cup.
While the League Cup certainly lost some of its appeal recently, it’s still a prestigious award and the final provides the teams with the opportunity to play on the legendary Wembley.
This might not be something special for some of the City players, but I’m sure that Aston Villa’s squad is looking forward to the experience.
In this betting preview, I evaluate the chances of both sides and share my prediction for the outcome of the game. Naturally, I also recommend a betting pick based on the latest odds at the end.
There’s little doubt that Aston Villa is a huge underdog in the upcoming clash against Manchester City. The team sits just above the relegation zone of the Premier League and might be in the bottom three by the time the ELF final starts on Sunday.
Losing its place in the English elite would be a disaster for Villa and a financial hit that would be hard to take. Avoiding such fate is the club’s priority by the end of the season, beyond any doubt.
And yet, that didn’t prevent Villa to beat Leicester in the semifinals. The club eliminated a strong opponent after two legs and showed a lot of resilience.
Jack Grealish was awesome in both matches and he is Villa’s main hope for the final. This might be the youngster’s chance to leave the club with a trophy, as I don’t see him staying after the end of the campaign, even if the team is still in the EPL.
I believe that all Aston Villa players will go out there and defend like lions on Wembley. Considering City’s defensive struggles this season and Laporte’s latest injury, the underdog will have some chances on the other end.
The English League Cup is normally not among Manchester City’s priorities, but this season is different. The club is out of the EPL title fight and it’s still early in the Champions League.
Sure, Pep and his men are in command against Real Madrid after the 2-1 win this week, but they still have a return leg and two of Europe’s best before even reaching the UCL final.
The road to a potential FA Cup triumph is slippery too, so the Carabao Cup represents an excellent opportunity to secure a trophy.
I believe that Pep will be forced to make some rotations after the gruesome game against Real Madrid, but that’s not a big deal. The likes of Sterling and Aguero didn’t start, so they should be on the pitch against Villa from the first minute.
I expect City to control most of the ball and patiently try to dismantle the opposition.
Betting Prediction and Pick
Most bookmakers out there think that Aston Villa is doomed and I can easily see why. And yet, Man City is unusually fragile at the back this season and this brings hope to the Villains.
If they can open the scoring, they might have a chance to push their famous opponents to the limit. I believe this game could be tighter than expected. You can get prices of around 1.70 for Aston Vila for +3 handicap and that looks awesome, in my opinion.
Even if the side loses by two goals, you still win. I know that City is way better, but it’s a cup final and Villa will care more, so that’s enough for me to take this wager.