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EFL Cup Final: Preview & Odds - All You Need To Know About Chelsea v Man City

EFL Cup Final: Preview & Odds - All You Need To Know About Chelsea v Man City
iq_johal
Thursday,February 21,2019
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The first piece of silverware is up for grabs on Sunday, as Chelsea and Manchester City face off at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final. Pep Guardiola’s Man City are attempting to capture the first piece of their unprecedented quadruple, which was kept alive thanks to a memorable 3-2 comeback win in their Champions League last 16 tie against Schalke 04, despite going down to 10 men. On the other hand, under pressure Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri needs the win just to survive for at least another month, and try to save what is fast unraveling to be a pretty poor first season in charge.

 

Here’s a look at the latest odds, possible starting lineups, with a preview and predictions to boot:

 

Venue, kick-off time & TV Channel:

 

Date & time: Sunday 24 February, 4:30pm

Stadium: Wembley

TV: Sky Sports

 

Odds on favourites City to retain EFL Cup crown? There’s no prizes for guessing who the favourites are for this one. City are as short as 2/7 on to lift their fourth EFL Cup in the last six seasons - 3/5 in 90 minutes - while Chelsea are as long as 5/1 to regain the trophy they last won in 2015.

 

All the recent form certainly points to City completing the first of four potential trophies in 2018/19. Since that shock defeat to Newcastle last month, Pep’s men have won five in a row, including beating Arsenal 3-1, Sunday’s opponents Chelsea 6-0 and Wednesday night's 3-2 win against Schalke. That’s 18 goals in five, with the ability to rotate the likes of attackers Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva depending on the occasion and opponent, a luxury very few can boast. Whatever the team put out, it’ll be extremely strong but if last season’s 3-0 final victory against Arsenal is to go by, expect Pep to be taking no chances, even if Chelsea are vulnerable.

 

Can Sarri save his job & Chelsea’s season? It might be long forgotten, but life as Chelsea boss couldn’t have gone much better for Sarri at the start of the season. Discounting their 2-0 defeat to Man City in the Community Shield, Chelsea went 18 games unbeaten until tasting defeat against Spurs, their first in the league at the 13th time of asking under Sarri. But fast forward a few months and those heady days couldn’t be further from anyone’s thoughts. Since January, they’ve suffered two of their heaviest ever Premier League defeats - 4-0 & 6-0 thrashings at Bournemouth & Man City - while also succumbing to Arsenal and crashing out of the FA Cup at home to Man Utd.

 

So-called ‘Sarri-ball’ requires high-paced attacking football, with short and quick passing but that has been easily found out in recent months, making Chelsea incredibly predictable. Sarri signing Jorginho has very much been the fall man but it’s not hard to see why, with teams working out that blocking him off negates a lot of Chelsea’s play in midfield, while it also means N’Golo Kante isn’t being utilised as arguably the best holding midfielder in world football.

 

The defeats to Man City and Man Utd demonstrated the predictability of this style of play, overplaying for the sake of it, while this current side have been devoid of any real creativity going forward. They were incredibly open against Man City - a world away from the days under Antonio Conte - and start like that again on Sunday, it could well be another hiding for Sarri’s men.

 

Is Sunday a foregone conclusion? Not quite. It was only in December that Chelsea showed they can out gun Man City, with an impressive 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, while City have been vulnerable at times, with the defeat against Newcastle and periods on Wednesday a case in point. However, the sensible money would be on City, who as mentioned before are 3/5 on to win in normal time. Although it’s barely been a couple of weeks since that 6-0 win against Chelsea and they brushed aside Arsenal 3-0 in last season’s final, a 2-0 correct score for City at 13/2 seems like the more conservative option, while Gabriel Jesus or Sergio Aguero - whoever starts - would be among the favourites to back as anytime goalscorer, but Kevin de Bruyne at 3/1 with a point to prove against his old club, would just get my vote. Will your Chelsea v Man City predictions come through?

 

Possible teams & predictions:

 

Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Pedro, Hazard, Higuain

 

Man City (4-1-4-1): Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, D. Silva, Sane, Mahrez, Aguero

 

Prediction: Chelsea 0-2 Man City, de Bruyne anytime scorer.

 

Don’t forget you can also get your predictions into our pools for the final, with some decent prizes to be won!

 

 

 
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