Manchester City will lock horns with Aston Villa in this year’s Carabao Cup Final, set to be hosted by the sporting pantheon that is Wembley Stadium.
This season’s clash will be a particularly interesting one; while Pep Guardiola’s team are predictably the favourites to win, Villa’s current form combined with the fact that the Citizens will have faced European giants Real Madrid in the days before the final means that there’s every chance of a more even contest.
Below we’ve answered all the tough questions, provided an in-depth preview, and clued you up on all the details ahead of this March’s Carabao Cup finale.
League Cup Tips
Check out this page for your latest League Cup predictions and betting tips for every round of the Carabao Cup. Manchester City are the favourites to win the cup again for the fourth time in five years as they face Aston Villa in the final – with the Villans toppling City’s closest occupants in the table, Liverpool and Leicester, to reach the final. It’s been an exciting season in the EFL Cup, including the monumental 5-5 night at Anfield (Liverpool 5-4 on pens) and Manchester and Midland derbies between Manchester United & City and Leicester’s clash with the Villans.
We’ll bring you our Manchester City vs Aston Villa tip for the league cup final on this page nearer the time.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City: League Cup Final Predictions
Dean Smith’s side have experienced a real baptism of fire in their return to the Premier League this season, battling it out with the likes of Norwich City and Watford City amongst the relegation zone. The Villans form in the cup has been a different story altogether.
Having edged past an in-form Leicester City in the semifinals, courtesy of a late Trezeguet goal, Villa have shown that they are more than a match for the best of the ‘big six’. Manchester City, however, have proved in the last few seasons to be of different caliber to the rest.
No thanks to Guardiola’s squad depth that allowed his team to win the Cup treble as centurions not two years ago. From Bernardo Silva to David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, there is an embarrassment of forward riches at the Catalan’s disposal.
Yet just like the rest of the top six, City have been at the mercy of a hectic Premier League fixture list, from the FA Cup and Christmas double-headers, to their most upcoming Champions League venture: a trip to the Bernabeu.
Indeed, Los Blancos may have lost top spot in their group to Paris Saint-Germaine in the group stage, but their experience in this competition – 13 titles no less – speaks for itself, and they will pose a palpable threat to a City side, who will also have faced Leicester just four days prior.
Our league cup prediction? Whatever side Manchester City decide to field, even if they were to drop some of their star men, will be a stronger side than the Aston Villa starting XI. Manchester City have always shown the Carabao Cup respect and it’ll be a tough ask for the Villans to stop them from winning their 3rd successive title – especially with the Premier League slipping from their grasp.
Manchester City’s Run To The Carabao Cup Final
Guardiola hasn’t had the run of the mill this season, having respectively faced Preston North End, Southampton and Oxford United before they were given a more sizable foe in the form of their red rivals Manchester United.
Nevertheless, it took a double from Aguero to get past the Saints, and a brace against Oxford from Raheem Sterling to ensure passage into the semis against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co.
The Citizens were a different gravy in comparison to United in both legs, more dominant both in attack and defence. With goals from their favoured front three, it’s no surprise that they feature in this summer’s final.
Carabao Cup Final Prediction: Key Players Aston Villa vs Man City
Smith’s side features some sterling attacking talents that the Citizens will not want to overlook in their prep.
Leading the charge is none other than the captain Jack Grealish. Operating as a quality left-wing specialist, the Englishman has been in great goalscoring form this season (six goals, five assists), always playing the role of provider. In his three years at Villa, Grealish has been a dangerous asset, and you can bet your socks that Guardiola will have a plan in mind to nullify his potency.
Joining the 24-year-old in Claret and Blue are forward John McGinn and defender Tyrone Mings. While the former has been a regular exploiter of Grealish’s passes, the latter has slowly grown to be a thorn in even the most attacking of sides, as Liverpool came to find out.
In the blue corner, Guardiola has a few fan favourites to keep an eye out for himself in this latest edition of the Carabao Cup final.
Expect Aguero to be in amongst the goals as always. The Argentines guile and movement will be difficult to monitor, especially with the likes of either Silva’s pulling the strings from midfield.
In defence, Guardiola may reintegrate the returning Aymeric Laporte into the starting XI – a man who needs no introduction and is a beast in between the Manchester City fullbacks. It remains to be seen if Laporte is featured in the Champions League.
Aston Villa’s Run To The Carabao Cup Final
Villa fought off Crewe and Brighton respectively in the early rounds, before they came across some serious Premier League foe in the form of Wolves. It was familiar faces – Anwar El Ghazi and Ahmed Elmohamady – who ensured that Villa would progress to the fifth round.
Here they faced a Liverpool side whose first team was over 1000 miles away playing the Club World Cup against Flamengo. Yet as Jurgen Klopp and co celebrated their new world status, Smith’s side instead dealt with a youth-heavy starting XI, which they swept away by five goals to nought.
Passage into the Carabao Cup semifinals saw Villa lock horns with an in-form Leicester City side over two legs. The first leg saw Villa hold out for a draw thanks to the efforts of Frederic Guilbert. It was Trezeguet though who ensured that it was Villa and not the Foxes who face Man City this May at Wembley.
Where To Watch the Aston Villa vs Manchester City Carabao Cup final
Given the excitement and popularity surrounding the final, you can be sure that the game will be available across multiple platforms.
Sky Sports hold exclusive rights to the final and will be airing the game on their flagship Sky Sports Main Event TV channel, as well as their Sky Go League Cup live streaming service.