Manchester City will be aiming to secure their third consecutive League Cup crown as they face Aston Villa in the final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s troops have had a relatively incident free route to yet another final throughout the current campaign. Matched up against Preston North End, Southampton and Oxford United, they then progressed past local rivals Manchester United despite falling to defeat in the second leg. Elsewhere, Aston Villa have been entertaining on their route to Wembley, hitting plenty of goals against Crewe Alexandra, Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool. They then faced Leicester City in the semi-finals, running out 3-2 aggregate winners.
Judging from the two club’s respective runs in the competition this campaign, goals could potentially be expected at Wembley. In just six matches, Villa hit 19 times, with the Citizens scoring 12 of their own. Between them, they have averaged 5.5 goals per match. That amount of goals to be scored in the final sits at 6/1 with Betfair.
Despite Villa’s threat offensively, Manchester City will surely be confident heading into the match. They have won the last two finals against Chelsea and Arsenal and are currently available at odds as low as 1/25 with Paddy Power to lift the trophy this time around. As a result, Villa are huge underdogs at 10/1 to win the competition.
If Dean Smith’s men are to defy the odds and win on Sunday, they will surely need to be wary of one of the competition’s top scorers, Raheem Sterling. The England winger is set to return to action and will hope to add to the three goals he has scored in the competition so far this season. He is at 7/2 with William Hill to net the opening goal of the match. For Villa, January signing Mbwanna Samatta is the favourite to net first and he is available at a price of 14/1.
Villa will be boosted by a significant injury to the Manchester City team. French defender Aymeric Laporte was withdrawn in the recent win against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and looks set to be out for a few weeks. He joins long-term absentee Leroy Sane on the sidelines. Villa also have to contend with a considerable list of injury problems. Wesley, Tom Heaton and John McGinn are all ruled out of the final. Anwar El Ghazi is also restricted to the sidelines, with Jed Steer and Keinan Davies doubts.