This Sunday, the first silverware of the season is on offer as Liverpool and Manchester City battle for the Capital One Cup at Wembley on Sky Sports from 16:00 GMT.
Both sides enter the game on the back of midweek victories in European competition. Liverpool’s hard fought 1-0 win over German outfit Augsburg came 24 hours after Manchester City eased past a potentially tricky test in Ukraine against Dynamo Kyiv with a 3-1 triumph.
Those respective European victories could serve as a springboard to better form; with both sides amassing just 8 points from their last six Premier League games.
Manchester City will head into the game as heavy favourites to lift the trophy (8/13). The pressure to land silverware will be considerably higher however, after Manuel Pellegrini’s team selection in last weekend’s FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge served as a metaphorical white flag as they crashed out 5-1 to Chelsea. Citing unfair fixture scheduling the Chilean prioritised other competitions, and was somewhat vindicated with their midweek performance. Sunday’s fixture is his first of three chances to end his three year reign with a trophy. It would also be a second Capital One Cup success, the other being a 3-1 defeat of Sunderland in 2014.
Liverpool head into this game on the back of three clean sheets, including a 6-0 mauling of lowly Aston Villa. Conversely, Manchester City have conceded 11 in their previous four but will be boosted by the return to fitness of captain Vincent Kompany. With Kompany marshalling the back four, City’s defence has been a different proposition, holding opponents to under 1.5 goals (4/9) in 7 of his last 9 appearances.
At the other end of the pitch, the sight of Sergio Aguero bailing out Manchester City has become a frequent sight. His form hasn’t slowed down, with three goals in his four appearances in February. He is an attractive 4/1 to open the scoring, which he has done in each of City’s last two wins.
For Liverpool, the lack of a consistent goalscorer has hindered them since the departure of Luis Suarez. With Daniel Sturridge back from his injury nightmare, the ‘Reds’ hope he is the man to fill that void. Since the turn of the year, Roberto Firmino has been Liverpool’s most dangerous and impactful player. In his last ten games, he has contributed to eight goals (scoring 5, assisting 3). If you believe in this run of form, Firmino is 12/1 to be named Man of the Match.
Check the Betfect site for a whole list of Capital One Cup Final odds.
Both teams to score and Manchester City to win (16/5)
Vincent Kompany Man of the Match (16/1)
2nd half result – Manchester City (6/4)