Guides

Carabao Cup Final Preview and Tips


Alongside the eight Premier League games taking place this weekend (which we will have a full set of tips for you later this week) this weekend also sees the first major domestic trophy of the English Premier League season decided as Manchester City take on Chelsea at Wembley in the final of the Carabao Cup.

The teams met just a couple of weeks ago at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and it proved to be a stunning day as Manchester City dished out a 6-0 thumping to Chelsea and heaped the pressure onto under-fire manager Mauricio Sarri. Following a defeat to City’s rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday, Sarri could be one defeat away from receiving his P45 from Roman Abramovich if the stories in the press are to be believed.

That all makes this game on Sunday even more dramatic and with Manchester City already having won the Community Shield against Chelsea at Wembley back in August, could they take the next step to a possible five-trophy haul this season, as the club remain in the FA Cup quarter finals, they are currently top of the Premier League and also remain firmly in the Champions League too following their game with Schalke 04 on Wednesday night.

If you fancy having a bit of a wager on the Carabao Cup Final this weekend, then bet365 Sport is the place to head. New customers can sign up with the current bet365 New Player Offer which will see them earn up to £100 in bet credits once they are registered and betting on the site. There’s also a massive choice of bets to enjoy on the final itself including lots of pre-match bets as well as extensive In Play betting opportunities.

Let’s now preview the final and how both teams could well line up for the game before we give you our tips on how we see the game panning out.

Carabao Cup Final Preview

Chelsea

Route to Wembley

  • Third Round – v Liverpool (A) – W 2-1 (Palmieri 79, Hazard 85)
  • Fourth Round – v Derby County (H) – W 3-2 (Tomori og 5, Keogh og 21, Fabregas 41)
  • Quarterfinal – v Bournemouth (H) – W 1-0 (Hazard 84)
  • Semifinal 1st Leg – v Tottenham (A) – L 0-1
  • Semifinal 2nd Leg – v Tottenham (H) – W 2-1 (Kante 27, Hazard 38) *Chelsea win 4-2 on penalties

Chelsea earned their place in the final the hard way with victory over two top six opponents on the way to Wembley. After being handed a bye until the third round, they overcame a below-strength Liverpool side 2-1 at Anfield thanks to late goals from Palmieri and Hazard, the second one of the best goals scored in the competition so far.

Wins over Derby and Bournemouth, each by a single goal, took Chelsea into a semifinal with Tottenham and after losing the first leg at Wembley 1-0, Chelsea struck back to win the second leg 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to force extra time and then penalties, where after converting four kicks successfully they earned their place in the final.

Probable Chelsea Team

Maurico Sarri has tended to play strong teams throughout this tournament and this will continue in the final. Given Chelsea’s predicament and form, I can’t see Sarri naming anything but his strongest team for this game given that a win is the only result likely to preserve his status as manager. As such that will mean Kepa in goal, with a back four of Azpilicueta and Alonso as the full backs and Rudiger and Luiz in central defence. Jorginho will anchor midfield along with Kante and likely Kovacic over Barkley as a starter.

In attack, Chelsea will go with Higuain in the middle with Hazard on one flank and likely Pedro on the other, although Willian or Hudson-Odoi could come into contention should the manager want to freshen things up and give City a new look for the final.

Manchester City

Route to Wembley

  • Third Round – v Oxford United (A) – W 3-0 (Jesus 36, Mahrez 78, Foden 90+2)
  • Fourth Round – v Fulham (H) – W 2-0 (Diaz 18,65)
  • Quarterfinal – v Leicester (A) – D 1-1 (De Bruyne 14) *Man City won 3-1 on penalties
  • Semifinal 1st Leg – v Burton Albion (H) – W 9-0 (De Bruyne 5, Jesus 30,34,57,65, Zinchenko 37, Foden 62, Walker 70, Mahrez 83)
  • Semifinal 2nd Leg – v Burton Albion (A) – W 1-0 (Aguero 26)

Manchester City have made light work of making the final, with only Leicester City pushing them hard in the games they have played. City were handed a bye to the Third Round due to being in European competition and they opened up with a convincing 3-0 away win over Oxford United. The now departed Brahim Diaz scored twice to defeat Fulham at home in the Fourth Round before the game with Leicester, which finished 1-1 after extra time only for City to win the game 3-1 on penalties after Leicester fluffed their lines from the spot.

Surprise package Burton Albion awaited City in the semifinal, but it was a landslide win for the Premier League leaders as they smashed nine goals unanswered past Burton in the home leg and then defeated the League One side 1-0 in the second to record a 10-0 semifinal victory on aggregate.

Probable City Team

Pep Guardiola will likely be without a couple of star names for the final with Kompany injured and Mendy still a doubt, however I’d expect Ederson to start in goal and Guardiola to name a back four comprising of Walker, Laporte, Stones and possibly Zinchenko at left back, although he could more Laporte to this position and instead play Otamendi or Fernandinho in central defence as he did in the League game between the teams.

The midfield will likely see David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva line up, possibly with either Silva or De Bruyne dropping to the bench if Fernandinho plays his holding midfield role. Aguero will likely start in attack with Sane and Sterling either side of him, although Guardiola could elect to give Jesus a start and rest Aguero for some tough league games coming up.

Carabao Cup Final Tips

Match Result – Manchester City to win – 11/20

Although it is a 2-team contest between two of the Premier League’s top six and both former Premier League winners, City are massive favourites to win given the recent form of both sides and the fact that they smashed Chelsea 6-0 just a few weeks ago. It is hard to see how Chelsea can turn that sort of performance around to earn a positive result, hence I am backing the City win.

Correct Score – Chelsea 0-3 Manchester City – 11/1

While I can’t see Manchester City racking up a thumping scoreline like they did at the Etihad, I do feel they will be far too strong for Chelsea in this game. City’s dynamism going forward is tough for any team to match even if they are in top form and Chelsea are far from that and as such, I think a 3-0 win for City sounds about right.