As the Premier League continues to throw up the usual twists and turns as we head into the twilight months, here comes the first chance of significant silverware in English football for the season. Although in saying that there has been many a debate of late as to whether or not the English Football League Cup is actually that significant and if it should actually be disbanded to make room for more inclusion in the FA Cup and allow for top flight teams to not have as many commitments.
With all of that said though, here arrives the 60th English League Cup final, set to be contested between current Premier League Champions Manchester City, and newly promoted Premier League side Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City side have featured in the sporting press a lot of late, and unfortunately for them not for the right reasons. Their legal battle with UEFA continues on as they fight to not be banned from European competitions for two seasons, along with playing second fiddle by some way to Liverpool in the Premier League. So as they enter the 2020 League Cup final, it’s with far mor on their mind than just winning a domestic cup.
City will have had a bit of a lift from beating Real Madrid midweek however in the Champions League, and will be looking to at least secure the first domestic competition honour of the season. Recend team news has brought to light that Laporte will miss the final with a hamstring injury although other than this Pep should have a largely full contingent to choose from.
Be sure to watch out for Sergio Aguero who is never a stranger to the big stage finals and will surely be one of the key dangermen on the field. A lot of bookies over recent days have been boosting him to at least be looking to score a brace.
The break for Villa in the Premier League hasn’t come at the best of times. With Liverpool falling at the hands of Watford in a shock 3-0 defeat at Vicrage Road, it has seen Villa fall into the relegation zone in 19th place. A similar scenario to what their West Midlands rivals Birmingham City endured against Arsenal in 2011. Birmingham went on to with the League Cup Final against the Gunners, but were then relegated from the top flight and have yet to make a return.
Aston Villa, though having some great talents in their side have been very unfortunate this season. In the Premier League they’ve netted 34 goals, higher than 7th place Sheffield United’s 29. However their leaky defence has seen them concede 52. They’re no strangers to playing at Wembley either with this being the fifth trip to Wembley in six seasons.
Team news for Villa in terms of unavailability the only real definite omissions will be John McGinn with an ankle injury and Danny Drinkwater through his cup tied Chelsea loan ineligibility. The good news for Villa is that Jack Grealish will be at full fitness, with the bad news that Man City have expressed interest in signing the West Midlander in the summer.
The obvious choice from gaging how everyone is looking at this game is to go with a high scoring Man City scoreline. However in terms of where we’ll be investing our money is for both teams to score, with Man City emerging the overall winners. The odds on this type of bet will be in excess of around 3/1 offering a good return on any small or large stake.